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, 

MR.  SUMNER'S  LECTURE 

ON 

WHITE     SLAVERY 

IN   THE 

BARBARY  STATES. 

WHITE    SLAVERY 


IN 


THE  BARBARY  STATES. 


LECTURE 

BEFORE    THE 

BOSTON   MERCANTILE   LIBRARY  ASSOCIATION, 

FEB.    17,  1847. 


BY   CHARLES    SUMNER. 


Mutalo  nomine,  tic  te 


Fabula  narratur. 


BOSTON: 

WILLIAM    D.    TICK  NOR    AND    COMPANY. 

1847. 


Entered  according  to  Act  of  Congress,  in  the  year  1S47,  by 

WM.    D.    TlCKNOR    AND    COMPANY, 

in  the  Clerk's  Office  of  the  District  Court  of  the  District  of  Massachusetts. 


CAMBRIDGE: 

M   K  T  C  A  I.  !•'      AND      C  O  M   P  A   N  T, 

I'KINTRliS  TO  THE  I'NIVEfiXlTV. 


LECTURE. 


HISTORF  has  been  sometimes  called  a  gallery,  where  are  pre- 
served, in  living  forms,  the  scenes,  the  incidents,  and  the  charac- 
ters of  the  past.  It  may  also  be  called  the  world's  great  charnel- 
house,  where  are  gathered  coffins,  dead  men's  bones,  and  all  the 
uncleanness  of  the  years  that  have  fled.  As  we  walk  among  its 
pictures,  radiant  with  the  inspiration  of  virtue  and  of  freedom,  we 
confess  a  new  impulse  to  beneficent  exertion.  As  we  grope  amidst 
the  unsightly  shapes  that  have  been  left  without  an  epitaph,  we  may 
at  least  derive  a  fresh  aversion  to  all  their  living  representatives. 

In  this  mighty  gallery  are  the  stately  images  of  the  benefactors  of 
mankind,  --the  poets  who  have  sung  the  praises  of  virtue,  the  his- 
torians who  have  recorded  its  achievements,  and  the  good  men  of 
all  time,  who,  by  word  or  deed,  have  striven  for  the  welfare  of 
others.  Here  are  depicted  those  scenes  in  which  the  divinity  of 
man  has  been  made  manifest  in  trial  and  danger.  Here  also  are 
those  grand  incidents  which  have  attended  the  establishment  of  the 
free  institutions  of  the  world,  — the  signing  of  Magna  Charta,  with 
its  priceless  privileges  of  freedom,  by  a  reluctant  monarch,  and  of 
the  Declaration  of  Independence,  the  annunciation  of  the  inalienable 
rights  of  man,  by  the  fathers  of  our  republic. 

On  the  other  hand,  in  this  dreary  charnel-house  are  tumbled  in 
ignominious  confusion  all  that  now  remains  of  the  tyrants,  the  per- 
secutors, and  selfish  men,  under  whom  mankind  have  groaned. 
Here  also  are  the  extinct  institutions  or  customs,  which  the  earth, 
weary  of  their  infamy  and  injustice,  has  refused  to  sustain,  —  the 
Helotism  of  Sparta,  the  Serfdom  of  Christian  Europe,  and  Algerine 
Slavery. 


From  this  charnel-house  let  me  draw  forth  one  of  these  to-night. 
It  may  not  be  without  profit  to  dwell  on  the  origin,  the  history,  and 
the  character  of  a  custom,  which,  after  being  for  a  long  time  a  by- 
word and  a  hissing  among  the  nations,  has  at  last  been  driven  from 
the  world.  Perhaps  the  easy  condemnation  which  it  cannot  fail  to 
receive  at  our  hands  may  direct  our  judgment  of  other  institutions, 
still  tolerated  in  defiance  of  justice  and  humanity.  I  propose  to 
consider  the  subject  of  White  Slavery  in  Jllgiers,  or  perhaps  it 
might  be  more  appropriately  called,  While  Slavery  in  the  Barbary 
States.  As  Algiers  was  its  chief  seat,  it  seems  to  have  acquired  a 
current  name  from  that  place.  This  I  shall  not  disturb  ;  though  I 
shall  speak  of  white  slavery,  or  the  slavery  of  Christians,  through- 
out the  Barbary  States. 

If  this  subject  should  fail  in  interest,  it  cannot  in  novelty.  I  am 
not  aware  that  any  person  has  ever  before  attempted  to  combine  in 
a  connected  essay  the  scattered  materials  with  regard  to  it. 

The  territory  now  known  under  the  name  of  the  Barbary  States 
is  memorable  in  history.  Classical  inscriptions,  broken  arches,  and 
ancient  tombs  —  the  memorials  of  various  ages  —  still  continue  to 
bear  most  interesting  witness  to  the  revolutions  which  it  has  encoun- 
tered.* Early  Greek  legend  made  it  the  home  of  terror  and  of 
happiness.  Here  was  the  retreat  of  the  Gorgon,  witli  snaky  tresses, 
turning  all  she  looked  upon  into  stone  ;  and  here  also  the  garden 
of  the  Hesperides,  with  its  apples  of  gold.  It  was  the  scene  of  ad- 
venture and  mythology.  Here  Hercules  wrestled  with  Antaeus,  and 
Atlas  sustained  with  weary  shoulders  the  overarching  sky.  Phre- 
nician  fugitives  transported  to  its  coasts  the  spirit  of  commerce,  and 
Carthage,  which  these  wanderers  first  planted,  became  the  mistress 
of  the  seas,  the  explorer  of  distant  regions,  the  rival  and  the  victim 
of  Rome.  The  energy  and  subtlety  of  Jugurtha  here  baffled  for  a 
while  the  Roman  power,  till  at  last  the  whole  country  from  Egypt 
to  the  Pillars  of  Hercules  underwent  the  process  of  annexation  to 
the  cormorant  republic  of  ancient  times.  Its  thriving  population 
and  its  fertile  soil  rendered  it  an  immense  granary.  It  was  filled  with 
famous  cities,  one  of  which  was  the  refuge  and  grave  of  Cato,  flee- 


*  The  classical  studi  nt  will  ]><•  ^nii'ilii-d  and  smjui-i  :1  by  the  remains  of  antiquity 
which  are  described  by  Dr.  Shiuv,  English  chaphim  ;it  Algiers  in  the  reign  of 
George  the  First,  in  his  Trurrls  find  Obsi.rrutions  relating  to  Scteral  Parts  of  Bariary 
and  tin:  1.  1  rant,  published  in  \~, 


ing  from  the  usurpations  of  Caesar.  At  a  later  day  Christianity  was 
here  preached  by  some  of  her  most  saintly  bishops.  The  torrent 
of  the  Vandals,  which  had  wasted  Italy,  passed  over  this  territory, 
and  the  arms  of  Belisarius  here  obtained  some  of  their  most  signal 

D 

triumphs.  The  Saracens,  with  the  Koran  and  the  sword,  potent 
ministers  of  conversion,  next  broke  from  Arabia,  as  the  messengers 
of  a  new  religion,  and,  pouring  along  these  shores,  diffused  the  faith 
and  doctrines  of  Mohammed.  Their  empire  was  not  confined  even 
by  these  extended  limits  ;  but,  under  Musa,  entered  Spain,  and  at 
Roncesvalles  encountered  the  embattled  chivalry  of  the  Christian 
world  under  Charlemagne. 

The  Saracenic  power  did  not  long  retain  its  unity  or  importance  ; 
and  as  we  view  this  territory  in  the  dawn  of  modern  history,  when 
the  countries  of  Europe  are  appearing  in  their  new  nationalities,  we 
discern  five  different  communities  or  states,  -  Morocco,  Algiers, 
Tunis,  Tripoli,  and  Barca,  -  -  the  latter  of  little  moment  and  often 
included  in  Tripoli,  the  whole  constituting  what  was  then  and  is  still 
called  the  Barbary  States.  This  name  has  sometimes  been  referred 
to  the  Berbers,  or  Berebbers,  so  called,  constituting  a  part  of  the 
inhabitants  ;  but  I  delight  to  follow  the  classic  authority  of  Gibbon, 
who  thinks*  that  the  term  first  applied  by  Greek  pride  to  all  stran- 
gers, and  finally  reserved  for  those  only  who  were  savage  or  hostile, 
has  justly  settled  as  a  local  denomination  along  the  northern  coast 
of  Africa.  The  Barbary  States,  then,  bear  their  past  character 
in  their  name. 

They  occupy  an  important  space  on  the  earth's  surface  ;  on  the 
north,  washed  by  the  Mediterranean  Sea,  furnishing  such  oppor- 
tunities of  prompt  intercourse  with  Southern  Europe,  that  Cato 
was  able  to  exhibit  in  the  Roman  Senate  figs  which  had  been 
freshly  plucked  in  the  gardens  of  Carthage  ;  bounded  on  the 
east  by  Egypt,  on  the  west  by  the  Atlantic  Ocean,  and  on  the 
south  by  the  vast,  indefinite,  sandy,  flinty  wastes  of  Sahara,  sepa- 
rating them  from  Soudan  or  Negroland.  In  the  advantages  of  po- 
sition they  surpass  every  other  part  of  Africa,  —  unless,  perhaps, 
we  except  Egypt,  —  communicating  so  easily  as  they  do  with  the 
Christian  nations,  and  thus,  as  it  were,  touching  the  very  hem  and 
border  of  civilization. 

Climate   adds   its   attractions  to  this  territory,  which  is  removed 

*  Decline  and  Fall  of  the  Roman  Empire,  Chap.  Ivi.  Vol.  IX.  p.  463. 


from  the  cold  of  the  north  and  the  burning  heats  of  the  tropics, 
while  it  is  enriched  with  oranges,  citrons,  olives,  figs,  pomegranates, 
and  luxuriant  flowers.  Its  position  and  character  invite  a  singular 
and  instructive  comparison.  It  is  placed  between  the  twenty-ninth 
and  thirty-eighth  degrees  of  north  latitude,  occupying  nearly  the 
same  parallels  with  what  are  called  the  Slave  States  of  our  Union. 
It  extends  over  nearly  the  same  number  of  degrees  of  longitude  with 
our  Slave  States,  which  seem  to  stretch  from  the  Atlantic  Ocean  to 
the  Rio  Grande.  It  is  supposed  to  embrace  about  700,000  square 
miles,  which  cannot  be  far  from  the  space  comprehended  by  what  may 
be  called  the  Barbary  States  of  America.  Nor  does  the  comparison 
end  here.  Algiers,  which  has  been  the  most  obnoxious  place  in 
the  Barbary  States  of  Africa,  which  was  branded  by  an  indignant 
writer  as  "the  wall  of  the  barbarian  world,"  and  which  was  the  chief 
seat  of  Christian  slavery,  is  situated  on  the  parallel  of  36°  30'  north 
latitude,  being  the  line  of  what  is  termed  the  Missouri  Compro- 
mise, marking  the  "wall"  of  Christian  slavery  in  our  country  west 
of  the  Mississippi. 

Other  less  important  points  of  likeness  between  the  two  territo- 
ries may  be  observed.  They  are  each  washed  to  the  same  extent 
by  the  sea,  with  this  difference,  that  the  African  States  are  bounded 
on  the  north  by  the  Mediterranean,  and  on  the  west  by  the  Atlan- 
tic ;  whereas,  the  American  States  are  bounded  on  the  south  by 
the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  and  on  the  east  by  the  Atlantic.  But  there 
are  no  two  spaces  on  the  surface  of  the  globe  of  equal  extent  (and  an 
examination  of  the  map  will  verify  what  I  am  about  to  state),  which 
present  so  many  distinctive  features  of  resemblance,  whether  we 
consider  the  parallels  of  latitude  on  which  they  lie,  the  nature  of 
their  boundaries,  their  productions,  their  climate,  or  the  "peculiar 
domestic  institution  "  which  has  sought  shelter  in  both. 

I  have  introduced  these  comparisons  in  order  to  bring  home  to 
your  minds,  as  near  as  possible,  the  precise  position  and  character 
of  the  territory  which  was  the  seat  of  the  evil  I  am  about  to  describe. 
It  might  be  worthy  of  inquiry,  why  Christian  slavery,  banished  at 
last  from  Europe,  banished  also  from  that  part  of  this  hemisphere 
which  corresponds  to  Europe,  should  have  intrenched  itself  in 
both  hemispheres  between  the  same  parallels  of  latitude  ;  so  that 
Virginia,  Carolina,  Mississippi,  and  Texas  should  be  the  Amer- 
ican complement  to  Morocco,  Algiers,  Tripoli,  and  Tunis.  Per- 
haps the  common  peculiarities  of  climate,  breeding  indolence,  las- 


situde,  and  selfishness,  may  account  for  the  insensibility  to  the 
claims  of  justice  and  humanity  which  seem  to  have  characterized 
both  regions. 

The  cruel  custom  of  enslaving  Christians  in  the  Barbary  States 
\vas  for  many  years  the  shame  of  modern  civilization.  The  nations 
of  Europe  made  various  efforts,  continued  through  successive  cen- 
turies, to  procure  its  abolition,  and  to  rescue  their  subjects  from 
bondage.  These  may  be  traced  in  the  pages  of  history.  Litera- 
ture also  affords  illustrations  of  its  character  which  must  not  be  neg- 
lected. At  one  period,  the  French,  the  Italians,  and  the  Spanish 
borrowed  most  of  the  plots  of  their  stories  from  this  source.*  The 
adventures  of  Robinson  Crusoe  make  us  familiar  with  one  of  its 
forms.  He  was  captured  by  a  Sallee  f  rover,  and  made  a  slave. 
"  At  this  surprising  change  of  my  circumstances,"  he  says,  "  from 
a  merchant  to  a  miserable  slave,  I  was  perfectly  overwhelmed  ;  and 
now  I  looked  back  upon  my  father's  prophetic  discourse  to  me,  that 
I  should  be  miserable  and  have  none  to  relieve  me,  which  I  thought 
was  so  effectually  brought  to  pass,  that  I  could  not  be  worse. "| 
And  Cervantes,  in  the  story  of  Don  Quixote,  over  which  so  many 
generations  have  shaken  with  laughter,  turns  aside  from  its  genial 
current  to  give  the  narrative  of  a  Spanish  captive  who  had  escaped 
from  Algiers.  The  author  is  supposed  to  have  drawn  from  his  own 
experience  ;  for  he  was  during  five  years  and  a  half  in  slavery  at 
Algiers,  from  which  he  was  finally  liberated  by  a  ransom  of  about 
six  hundred  dollars.  §  This  inconsiderable  sum  of  money  gave 
to  freedom,  to  his  country,  and  to  mankind  the  author  of  Don 
Quixote. || 

*  Sismondi's  View  of  the  Literature  of  the  South  of  Europe,  Vol.  III.  p.  402, 
Ch.  29. 

t  Sallee  is  a  port  of  Morocco  on  the  Atlantic  Ocean. 

t  Chap.  II. 

§  The  exact  amount  is  left  uncertain  both  by  Smollet  and  Thomas  Roscoe  in  their 
lives  of  Cervantes.  It  appears  that  it  was  five  hundred  gold  crowns  of  Spain,  which, 
according  to  Navarrete,  is  6770  reals  (Vida  de  Cenantes,  p.  371).  The  real  is 
supposed  to  be  less  than  ten  cents. 

||  The  unhappy  condition  of  his  fellow-captives  seems  to  have  been  ever  upper- 
most in  the  mind  of  Cervantes.  He  lost  no  opportunity  of  arousing  his  countrymen 
to  efforts  for  their  emancipation,  and  for  the  overthrow  of  the  "  peculiar  institution  " 
under  which  they  groaned.  This  was  not  done,  as  in  our  day,  by  means  of  public 
addresses  and  meetings,  but  mainly  through  the  instrumentality  of  the  theatre. 
Shortly  after  his  return  to  Spain,  he  pictured  the  various  sufferings,  pains,  and  hu- 


8 

With  these  preliminary  remarks,  the  way  is  now  open  for  the 
consideration  of  the  subject  to  which  1  have  invited  your  attention. 
In  unfolding  it  J  shall  naturally  he  led  to  touch  upon  the  origin  of 
slavery,  and  the  principles  which  lie  at  its  foundation,  before  pro- 
ceeding to  the  contemplation  of  the  efforts  for  its  abolition,  and  their 
final  success  in  the  Barbary  States. 

I.  Slavery  was  universally  recognized  by  the  nations  of  antiquity. 
It  is  said  by  Pliny,  in  a  bold  phrase,  that  the  Lacedaemonians  "  in- 
vented slavery."*  If  this  were  so,  the  glory  of  Lycurgus  and  Le- 
onidas  would  not  compensate  for  this  blot  upon  their  character.  It 
is  true  that  they  recognized  it,  and  gave  it  a  shape  of  peculiar  hard- 
ship. But  slavery  is  older  than  Sparta.  It  appears  in  the  tents  of 
Abraham  ;  for  the  three  hundred  and  eighteen  servants  born  to  him 
were  slaves. f  It  appears  in  the  story  of  Joseph,  who  was  sold  by 
his  brothers  to  the  Midianites  for  twenty  pieces  of  silver.^  It  ap- 

miliations  of  slavery  in  a  comedy, —  which  found  much  favor,  though  not  artistic  in 
its  composition,  —  entitled  EL  Trato  de  Argel,  or  Life  in  Algiers.  This  was  followed 
by  two  others  in  the  same  spirit,—  Los  Banos  de  Argel,  The  Galleys  of  Algiers,  and 
La  Gran  Sultana  Dona  Cattalina  de  Otiedo.  The  last  act  of  the  Eanos  closes  with 
the  information,  that  this  comedy  "  is  not  drawn  from  the  imagination,  but  was  born 
far  from  the  regions  of  fiction,  in  the  very  heart  of  truth."  The  same  may  be  said 
of  the  tales  of  The  Captive  in  Don  duixote,  El  Liberal  Jmante,  The  Liberal  Lov.  r, 
and  some  parts  of  La  Espanola  Inglesa.  All  these  are  to  be  regarded,  not  merely 
as  literary  labors,  but  as  charitable  endeavours  in  the  cause  of  human  freedom. 
Lope  de  Vega,  whom  Cervantes  calls  "that  prodigy,"  has  employed  his  genius  in 
the  same  cause,  in  his  comedy,  The  Captives  of  Algiers,  Los  Cauliros  de  Arirel ; 
and  at  a  later  day  Calderon,  in  his  El  Principe  Constante,  has  cast  a  poet's  glance  at 
Christian  slavery  in  Morocco.  In  England  the  story  of  Inkle  and  Yarico,  by  Steele, 
in  the  Spectator,  and  sonic  parts  of  the  drama  of  Oronooko,  by  Southerns,  have  taught 
the  cruelty  and  injustice  of  enslaving  our  fellow-men.  All  these  belong  to  what 
may  be  called  the  literature  of  Antislavery. 

h  IS1  at.  Hist.,  Lib.  VII.  c.  57.  The  word  slave,  which  enters  into  the  languages  of 
modern  Europe,  in  its  original  use  signified  glory,  and  was  proudly  assumed  as  the  na- 
tional designation  of  the  races  in  the  northeastern  part  of  that  continent,  who  were 
.•;;u  rwards  degraded  from  the  condition  of  conquerors  to  that  of  servitude  ;  Slava  (laus, 
gloria)  Slaronian.  See  Gibbon,  Roman  Empire,  Vol .  X.  p.  190,  c.  55,  notes.  In 
the  lius-ian  language  it  still  signifies  glory  ;  as  Slara  Rossie,  Glory  of  Russia.  Sau- 
'1  ravds,  p.  i:5H.  Strange  that  the  word  should  have  undergone  such  a  change  in 
its  meaning  !  But  its  original  sense  may  still  be  received  by  those  who  consider 
slavery  essential  to  democratic  institutions,  and  therefore  a  part  of  the  true  glory  of 
the  country. 

t  Genesis  xiv.  14. 

;  Genesis  xxxvii.  ',!-'.  Slavery,  and  even  the  slave-trade,  have  been  vindicated 
by  these  and  other  texts  of  the  Scriptures.  See  Bruce's  Travels  in  Africa,  Vol.  II. 


9 

pears  in  the   poetry  of  Homer,  who   stamps   it  with  a  reprobation 
which  can  never  be  forgotten,  when  he  says,*  - 

"  Jove  fixed  it  certain,  that  whatever  day 
Makes  man  a  slave  takes  half  his  worth  away." 

In  later  days  it  prevailed  extensively  in  Greece,  whose  haughty 
people  deemed  themselves  justified  in  enslaving  all  who  were  stran- 
gers to  their  manners  and  institutions.  "  The  Greek  has  the  right 
to  be  the  master  of  the  barbarian,"  was  the  sentiment  of  Euripides, 
one  of  the  first  of  her  poets,  which  was  echoed  by  Aristotle,  the 
greatest  of  her  intellects.!  And  even  Plato,  in  his  imaginary  re- 
public, the  Utopia  of  his  beautiful  genius,  still  sanctions  slavery. 
But,  notwithstanding  these  high  names,  we  learn  from  Aristotle  him- 
self, that  there  were  persons  in  his  day  —  pestilent  Abolitionists  of 
ancient  Athens --who  did  not  hesitate  to  maintain  that  liberty  was 
the  great  law  of  nature,  acknowledging  no  difference  between  the 
master  and  the  slave,  -  -  that  slavery  was,  therefore,  founded  upon 
violence,  and  not  upon  right,  and  the  authority  of  the  master  unnatu- 
ral and  unjust. £  I  am  not  in  any  way  authorized  to  speak  for  any 
Antislavery  society,  even  if  this  were  a  proper  occasion  ;  but  I 
presume  that  this  ancient  Greek  morality  embodies  substantially 
the  principles  of  the  resolutions  which  are  put  forth  at  their  public 
meetings,  —  so  far,  at  least,  as  they  relate  to  slavery. 

It  is  true,  most  true,  that  slavery  stands  on  force  and  not  on  right. 
It  is  one  of  the  results  of  war,  or  of  that  barbarism  in  which  savage 
war  plays  such  a  conspicuous  part.  It  was  supposed  that  to  the 
victor  belonged  the  lives  of  his  captives,  and,  by  consequence,  that 
he  might  bind  them  in  perpetual  servitude.  This  principle,  which 


p.  319.     After  quoting  these  texts,  he  says  that  he   "  cannot  think  that  purchasing 
slaves  is  either  cruel  or  unnatural." 

*  Odyssey,  Book  XVII. 

t  Pol.,  Lib.  I.  c.  1. 

\  Pol.,  Lib.  I.  c.  3.  A  Scholiast  on  Aristotle's  Rhetoric  has  preserved  a  saying 
to  this  purpose  of  Alcidamas,  the  scholar  of  Gorgias  of  Leontium,  —  "  God  sent 
forth  all  persons  free;  nature  has  made  no  man  a  slave."  In  conformity  with 
this  are  the  words  of  the  good  Lae  Casas,  when  pleading  before  Charles  the  Fifth  for 
the  Indian  races  of  America.  "  The  Christian  religion,"  he  said,  "  is  equal  in  its 
operation,  and  is  accommodated  to  every  nation  on  the  globe.  It  robs  no  one  of  las 
freedom,  violates  none  of  his  inherent  rights,  on  the  ground  that  he  Is  a  slave  ly  nature, 
as  pretended ;  and  it  well  becomes  your  Majesty  to  lanish  so  monstrous  an  oppres- 
sion from  your  kingdoms  in  the  beginning  of  your  reign,  that  the  Almighty  may 
make  it  long  and  glorious."-  -Prescott's  Conquest  of  Mexico,  Vol.  I.  p.  379. 

2 


10 

lias  been  the  foundation  of  slavery  in  all  ages,  is  adapted  to  the 
rudest  conditions  of  society  only,  and  is  wholly  inconsistent  with  a 
period  of  real  refinement,  humanity,  and  justice.  It  is  true  that  it 
was  recognized  by  Greece  ;  but  her  civilization,  brilliant,  to  the  ex- 
ternal view,  as  the  immortal  sculptures  of  the  Parthenon,  was,  like 
that  stately  temple,  dark  and  cheerless  within. 

Slavery  extended,  with  new  rigors,  under  the  military  dominion 
of  Rome.  The  spirit  of  freedom  which  animated  the  days  of  the 
republic  was  of  that  selfish  and  intolerant  character  which  accu- 
mulated privileges  upon  the  Roman  citizen,  while  it  heeded  little 
the  rights  of  others.  But,  unlike  the  Greeks,  the  Romans  admit- 
ted in  theory  that  all  men  were  originally  free  by  the  law  of  nature, 
and  they  ascribed  the  power  of  masters  over  slaves,  not  to  any  al- 
leged diversities  in  the  races  of  men,  but  to  the  will  of  society.* 
The  constant  triumphs  of  their  arms  were  signalized  by  reducing  to 
captivity  large  crowds  of  the  subjugated  people.  Paulus  Emilius  re- 
turned from  Macedonia  with  an  uncounted  train  of  slaves,  composed 
of  persons  in  every  department  of  life  ;  and  in  the  camp  of  Lucullus, 
in  Pontus,  slaves  were  sold  for  four  drachmae,  or  seventy-two  cents, 
a  head.  Terence  and  Pha>drus,  Roman  slaves,  have,  however, 
taught  us  that  genius  is  not  always  quenched  even  by  a  degrading 
captivity  ;  while  the  writings  of  Cato  the  Censor,  one  of  the  most  vir- 
tuous slaveholders  in  history,  show  the  hardening  influence  of  a  sys- 
tem which  treats  human  beings  as  cattle.  "  Let  the  husbandman," 
says  Cato,  "  sell  his  old  oxen,  his  sickly  cattle,  his  sickly  sheep,  his 
wool,  his  hides,  his  old  wagon,  his  old  implements,  his  old  slave,  and 
his  diseased  slave.  He  sliould  be  a  seller,  rather  than  a  buyer."  f 

The  cruelty  and  inhumanity  which  flourished  in  the  republic,  pro- 
fessing freedom,  found  a  natural  home  under  the  emperors,  —  the 
high-priests  of  despotism.  Wealth  increased,  and  with  it  the  num- 
ber of  slaves.  Some  persons  are  said  to  have  owned  as  many  as 
ten  thousand,  while  extravagant  prices  were  often  paid,  according  to 
the  fancy  or  caprice  of  the  purchaser,  j" 

It  is  easy  to  believe  that  slavery,  which  prevailed  to  such  an  ex- 


*  Institute  I.  til 

t  "  Vcridat  Loves  \ctulns,  ::rinriii;i  ddicula,  ovcs  dcliculas,  lanam,  pellcs,  plostrum 
v<  tus,  ferramcnta  vetera,  .•••( mini  senem,  sercum  morbosum,  et  si  quid  aliud  supersit, 
\  rmlat.  Patrcm  familias  -a  mlunm,  noti  cmacem  cssc  oportet."  —  DC  Re  Rustica,  §  2. 

:  .Martial  mentions  a  handsome  youth  who  cost  as  much  as  four  hundred  sestcrtia, 
16,000.  I'|i.  Ill  G2. 


11 

tent  in  Greece  and  Rome,  must  have  existed  in  Africa.  It  was 
here,  indeed,  that  it  found  a  peculiar  home.  If  we  trace  the  pro- 
gress of  that  unfortunate  continent,  from  those  distant  days  of  fable 
when  Jupiter 

"  did  not  disdain  to  grace 
The  feast  of  ^Ethiopia's  blameless  race,"  ' 

the  merchandise  in  slaves  will  be  found  to  have  contributed  to  the 
abolition  of  two  hateful  customs,  once  universal  in  Africa, --the  eat- 
ing of  captives,  and  the  sacrificing  of  them  to  idols.  Thus  it  is,  that, 
in  the  march  of  civilization,  even  the  barbarism  of  slavery  is  an  im- 
portant stage  of  human  progress. 

In  the  early  periods  of  modern  Europe,  slavery  was  a  general 
custom,  which  has  only  gradually  yielded  to  the  humane  influences 
of  Christianity,  f  It  was  fair-haired  Saxon  slaves  from  England 
that  arrested  the  attention  of  Pope  Gregory  in  the  markets  of 
Rome.  As  late  as  the  thirteenth  century,  it  was  the  custom  on  the 
continent  of  Europe  to  treat  all  captives  taken  in  war  as  slaves. 
Of  this  Othello  is  a  sufficient  witness,  when  he  speaks 

"  Of  being  taken  by  the  insolent  foe 
And  sold  to  slavery ;  of  my  redemption  thence."* 

*  Iliad,  Book  I. 

t  It  appears  from  William  of  Malmesbury  (Book  II.  ch.  20,  Life  of  St.  Wolston), 
that  there  was  a  cruel  slave-trade  in  whites  which  once  prevailed  in  England. 
"  Directly  opposite,"  he  says,  "  to  the  Irish  coast,  there  is  a  seaport  called  Bristol, 
the  inhabitants  of  which  frequently  sail  into  Ireland  to  sell  those  people  whom  they 
had  bought  up  throughout  England.  They  exposed  to  sale  maidens  in  a  state  of 
pregnancy,  with  whom  they  made  a  sort  of  mock  marriages.  There  you  might  see 
with  grief,  fastened  together  by  ropes,  whole  rows  of  wretched  beings  of  both  sexes, 
of  elegant  forms,  and  in  the  very  bloom  of  youth,  —  a  sight  sufficient  to  excite  pity 
even  in  barbarians, —  daily  offered  for  sale  to  the  first  purchaser.  Accursed  deed  ! 
Infamous  disgrace  !  that  men,  acting  in  a  manner  which  brutal  instinct  alone  would 
have  forbidden,  should  sell  into  slavery  their  relations,  nay,  even  their  own  off- 
spring." When  Ireland,  in  1172,  was  afflicted  with  public  calamities,  the  people, 
but  chief  y  the  clergy  (pr&cipue  clericorum)  began  to  reproach  themselves,  believing 
that  these  evils  were  brought  upon  their  country,  because,  contrary  to  the  right  of 
Christian  freedom,  they  had  bought  as  slaves  the  English  boys  brought  to  them  by 
the  merchants;  wherefore,  the  English  slaves  were  allowed,  throughout  all  Ire- 
land, by  the  consent  of  all,  to  depart  in  freedom.  (Quod  olim  Jlnglorum  pueros  a  mer- 
catoribus  ad  se  advectos  in  servitutem  cmerant  contra  jus  Christiana  libertatis  ;  wide, 
cum  omnium  consensu,  per  totam  Hibemiam,  servi  Angli  abire  permissi  sunt.)  — 
Chronica  Hiberniee,  or  the  Annals  of  Phil.  Flatesbury  in  the  Cottonian  Library,  Do- 
mitian  A.  XVIII.  10,  quoted  in  Stephens  on  West  India  Slavery,  Vol.  I.  p.  6. 

t  Drayton's  picture  of  the  French,  in  his  poem  of  The  Battle  of  Agincourt,  may 
also  be  quoted  :  — 


12 

It  was  also  held  lawful  to  enslave  all  infidels,  or  persons  who  did  not 
receive  the  Christian  faith.  The  early  common  law  of  England 
doomed  heretics  to  the  stake  ;  the  Catholic  Inquisition  did  the 
same  ;  and  the  Laws  of  Oleron,  the  maritime  code  of  the  Middle 
Ages,  treated  them  "  as  dogs,"  to  be  attacked  and  despoiled  by  all 
true  believers.*  It  appears  that  Philip  le  Bel  of  France,  in  1296, 
presented  his  brother  Charles,  Count  of  Valois,  with  a  Jew,  and 
that  he  paid  Pierre  de  Chambly  three  hundred  livres  for  another 
Jew.  f  And  the  statutes  of  Florence,  boastful  of  freedom,  as  late 
as  1415,  expressly  allowed  republican  citizens  to  hold  slaves  who 
were  not  of  the  Christian  faith-!  And  still  further,  the  comedies  of 
Moliere,  depicting  Italian  usages  not  remote  from  his  own  day,  show 
that  at  Naples  and  Messina  even  Christian  women  continued  to  be 
sold  as  slaves.  § 

Jt  is  not  astonishing,  then,  that  the  barbarous  states  of  Barbary 
—  a  part  of  Africa,  the  great  womb  of  slavery, -- professing  Ma- 
hometanism,  which  not  only  recognizes  slavery,  but  expressly  ordains 
"  chains  and  collars  "  to  infidels  ||  — should  continue  and  perpetu- 
ate the  traffic  in  slaves,  particularly  in  those  who  did  not  receive 
the  faith  of  their  Prophet.  In  the  duty  of  constant  war  upon  unbe- 
lievers, and  in  asserting  a  right  to  the  services  or  ransom  of  their 
captives,  they  followed  the  lessons  of  Christians  themselves. 

It  is  not  difficult,  then,  to  account  for  the  origin  of  the  cruel  cus- 
tom now  under  consideration.  Its  history  forms  our  next  topic. 

II.  The  Barbary  States,  after  the  decline  of  the  Arabian  power, 
seem  to  be  enveloped  in  darkness,  rendered  more  palpable  by  the 
increasing  light  among  the  Christian  nations.  As  we  behold  them 
in  the  fifteenth  century,  in  the  twilight  of  European  civilization,  they 
appear  to  be  little  more  than  scattered  bands  of  robbers  and  pirates, 

"  For  knots  of  cord  to  every  ti.\\  n  they  send, 
The  captived  I'.n^'li.-li  that  they  caught  to  bind; 
For  to  j/i  r/xtliiil  tliirtry  tin  ij  i/itftul 
Those  (tin/  i/liri'  tliti/  on  tltefnli/  t/unild  find." 
*  Prescott's  Conqui  M  c.f  .Mexico,  Vol.  II.  p.  30. 

t  Encycl»[n'tlit  .'Irilnnliijiif  (Juris] It  nee),  Art.  I'.-iltirnge. 

I  "Q,ui  non  sum  Catholica.  lid.  i   el   Christiana?."     See  De  V Abolition  de  I  Escla- 
vage  Ancien  en  Ocriilt  >if,  jmr  Hint,  p.  -lid  ;    a  work  crowned  with  a  gold  medal  by  the 
Institute  of  France,  hut  \vhich  will  he  read  with  some  disappointment. 
§  L'Etourdi;  Le  Sicilien;  L'.Jrare. 
||  Koran,  Chap.  7(. 


13 

—  the  land-rats  and  water-rats  of  Shylock,  —  leading  the  lives  of 
Ishmaelites.  Algiers  is  described  by  an  early  writer  as  "  a  den  of 
sturdy  thieves,  formed  into  a  body,  by  which,  after  a  tumultuary 
sort,  they  govern."*  The  habit  of  enslaving  the  prisoners  they 
took  in  war  and  in  their  piratical  depredations  aroused  against  them 
the  sacred  animosities  of  Christendom.  Ferdinand  the  Catholic, 
after  the  conquest  of  Granada,  and  while  the  boundless  discoveries 
of  Columbus,  giving  to  Castile  and  Aragon  a  new  world,  still  occu- 
pied his  mind,  found  time  to  direct  an  expedition  into  Africa,  which 
was  placed  under  the  military  command  of  that  great  ecclesiastic, 
Cardinal  Ximenes.  It  is  recorded  that  this  valiant  soldier  of  the 
Church,  on  effecting  the  conquest  of  Oran,  in  1509,  had  the  inex- 
pressible satisfaction  of  liberating  upwards  of  three  hundred  Chris- 
tian slaves,  f 

The  progress  of  the  Spanish  arms  induced  the  government  of 
Algiers  to  invoke  assistance  from  abroad.  At  this  time,  two  broth- 
ers, Home  and  Hayradin,  the  sons  of  a  potter  in  the  island  of  Les- 
bos, had  become  famous  as  corsairs.  In  an  age  when  the  sword  of 
an  adventurer  often  carved  a  higher  fortune  than  could  be  earned  by 
lawful  exertion,  they  were  dreaded  for  their  abilities,  their  hardihood, 
and  their  power.  To  them  Algiers  turned  for  aid.  The  corsairs 
left  the  sea  to  sway  the  land  ;  or  rather,  with  amphibious  robbery, 
they  took  possession  of  Algiers  and  Tunis,  while  they  continued  to 
scourge  the  sea.  The  name  of  Barbarossa,  by  which  they  were 
known  to  Christians,  is  terrible  in  modern  history.  | 

With  pirate  ships  they  infested  the  seas,  and  spread  their  ravages 
along  the  coasts  of  Spain  and  Italy,  until  Charles  the  Fifth  was  arous- 
ed to  undertake  their  overthrow.  The  various  strength  of  his  broad 
dominions  was  rallied  in  this  new  crusade.  "  If  the  enthusiasm," 
says  Sismondi,  "  which  armed  the  Christians  at  an  earlier  day  was 
nearly  extinct,  another  sentiment,  more  rational  and  legitimate,  now 
united  the  vows  of  Europe.  The  contest  was  no  longer  to  recon- 
quer the  tomb  of  Christ,  but  to  defend  the  civilization,  the  liberty, 
the  lives,  of  Christians."  §  A  stanch  body  of  infantry  from  Ger- 

*  Harleian  Miscellany,  Vol.  V.  p.  522, —  .#  Discourse  concerning  Tangiers. 

t  Prescott's  History  of  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  Vol.  III.  p.  308;  Purchas's  Pil- 
grims, Vol.  II.  p.  813. 

\  Robertson's  Charles  the  Fifth,  Book  V. ;  Topographia  y  Historia  de  Argd  par 
Fra  Haedo  ;'_'  Epitome  de  los  Reyes  de  Jlrgrl. 

§   Sismondi,' Histoire  des  Franrais,  Tom.  XVII.  p.  102. 


14 

many,  the  veterans  of  Spain  and  Italy,  the  flower  of  the  Spanish 
nobility,  the  knights  of  the  Order  of  Malta,  with  a  fleet  of  near  five 
hundred  vessels,  contributed  by  Italy,  Portugal,  and  even  distant 
Holland,  under  the  command  of  Andrew  Doria,  the  great  sea-officer 
of  the  age,  --  the  whole  being  under  the  immediate  eye  of  the  Em- 
peror himself,  with  the  countenance  and  benediction  of  the  Pope, 
and  composing  one  of  the  most  complete  armaments  which  the 
world  had  then  seen,  —  were  directed  upon  Tunis.  Barbarossa  op- 
posed them  bravely,  but  with  unequal  forces.  While  slowly  yield- 
ing to  the  attack  from  without,  his  defeat  was  hastened  by  an  un- 
expected insurrection  within.  In  the  citadel  were  a  number  of 
Christian  slaves,  who,  in  the  assertion  of  the  rights  of  freedom,  ob- 
tained a  bloody  emancipation,  and  turned  the  artillery  against  their 
former  masters.  The  town  yielded  to  the  Emperor,  whose  soldiers 
soon  surrendered  themselves  to  the  inhuman  excesses  of  war.  The 
blood  of  thirty  thousand  of  the  innocent  inhabitants  reddened  his  vic- 
tory. Amidst  this  scene  of  horror  there  was  but  one  spectacle  that 
afforded  him  any  satisfaction.  Ten  thousand  Christian  slaves  met 
him  as  he  entered  the  town,  and,  falling  on  their  knees,  thanked  him 
as  their  deliverer.* 

In  the  treaty  of  peace  which  ensued,  it  was  expressly  stipulated 
on  the  part  of  Tunis,  that  all  Christian  slaves,  of  whatever  nation, 
should  be  set  at  liberty  without  ransom,  and  that  no  subject  of  the 
Kmperor  should  for  the  future  be  detained  in  slavery. f 

The  apparent  generosity  of  this  undertaking,  the  magnificence 
with  which  it  was  conducted,  and  the  success  with  which  it  was 
crowned,  drew  to  the  Emperor  the  homage  of  his  age  beyond  any 
other  event  of  his  reign.  Twenty  thousand  slaves,  freed  by  his 
arms  or  by  the  treaty,  diffused  through  Europe  the  praise  of  his 
name.  It  is  probable  that  the  Emperor  was  governed  in  this  expe- 
dition by  motives  little  higher  than  those  of  vulgar  ambition  and 
fame;  but  the  results  with  which  it  was  crowned,  in  the  emancipa- 
tion of  so  many  of  his  fellow-Christians  from  cruel  chains,  place  him 
with  Cardinal  Ximenes  among  the  earliest  Abolitionists  of  modern 
times. 

This  was  in  1535.  In  1517,  only  a  few  short  years  before,  he 
had  granted  to  one  of  his  Flemish  courtiers  the  exclusive  privilege 
of  importing  four  thousand  blacks  from  Africa  into  the  West  Indies. 

*  Robertson's  Charles  tin-  1'iltli,  Book  V.  t  Ibid. 


15 

Perhaps  no  single  order  in  history  has  had  such  disastrous  conse- 
quences.* The  Fleming  sold  his  privilege  to  some  Genoese  mer- 
chants, who  organized  a  systematic  traffic  in  slaves  between  Africa 
and  America.  Thus,  while  the  Emperor  levied  a  mighty  force  to 
check  the  piracies  of  Barbarossa,  and  to  procure  the  abolition  of 
Christian  slavery  in  Tunis,  with  a  wretched  inconsistency,  he  laid 
the  corner-stone  of  a  new  system  of  slavery  in  America,  in  compar- 
ison with  which  what  he  sought  to  suppress  was  trivial  and  fugitive. 

Elated  by  the  conquest  of  Tunis,  and  filled  with  the  ambition  of 
subduing  all  the  Barbary  States,  and  of  extirpating  the  "  peculiar  in- 
stitution" of  Christian  slavery,  the  Emperor  in  1541  directed  an  ex- 
pedition of  singular  grandeur  against  Algiers.  The  Pope  again 
joined  his  influence  to  the  martial  array.  But  nature  proved  stronger 
than  the  Pope  and  Emperor.  A  sudden  storm  shattered  his  proud 
fleet,  within  sight  of  Algiers,  and  he  was  obliged  to  return  to  Spain, 
discomfited,  bearing  none  of  those  trophies  of  emancipation  by 
which  his  former  expedition  had  been  crowned. f 

The  power  of  the  Barbary  States  was  now  at  its  height.  Their 
corsairs  became  the  scourge  of  Christendom,  while  their  much- 
dreaded  system  of  slavery  assumed  a  front  of  new  terrors.  Their 
ravages  were  not  confined  to  the  Mediterranean.  They  penetrat- 
ed the  ocean,  and  pressed  even  to  the  Straits  of  Dover  and  St. 
George's  Channel.  From  the  chalky  cliffs  of  England,  and  even 
from  the  distant  western  coasts  of  Ireland,  the  inhabitants  were 
swept  into  cruel  captivity.  ^  The  English  government  were  at 
last  aroused  to  efforts  to  check  these  atrocities.  Tn  1620,  a  fleet  of 
eighteen  ships,  under  the  command  of  Sir  Robert  Mansel,  the  Vice- 
Admiral  of  England,  was  despatched  against  Algiers.  It  returned 

*  Mr.  Clarkson  says  that  Charles  lived  long  enough  to  repent  what  he  had  thus 
inconsiderately  done.  —  History  of  the  Abolition  of  the  Slave-Trade,  Vol.  I.  p.  38. 

t  Robertson's  Charles  the  Fifth,  Book  VI.;  Harleian  Miscellany,  Vol.  IV.,  p.  504, 
—  "A  lamentable  and  piteous  Treatise,  verye  necessarye  for  euerie  Christen  Manne 
to  reade  [or  the  Expedition  of  Charles  the  Fifth],  truly  and  dylygently  translated  out 
of  Latyn  into  Frenche,  and  out  of  Frenche  into  English,  1542." 

t  Guizot's  History  of  the  English  Revolution,  Vol.  I.  p.  CO,  Book  II.;  Strafford's 
Letters  and  Despatches,  Vol.  I.  p.  68.  It  was  the  boast  of  Sir  George  Radclifi'e,  the 
friend  of  the  Earl,  in  the  biographical  sketch  of  him  attached  to  his  letters  and  de- 
spatches, that  "  he  secured  the  seas  from  piracies,  so  as  only  one  ship  was  lost  at  his 
first  coming  [as  Lord  Lieutenant  to  Ireland],  and  no  more  all  his  time  ;  whereof 
every  year  before,  not  only  several  ships  and  goods  were  lost  by  robbery  at  sea,  but 
also  Turkish  men-of-war  usually  landed  and  took  prey  of  men  to  be,  made  slaves."  • 
Ibid.,  Vol.  II.  p.  434. 


16 

without  being  able,  in  the  language  of  the  times,  "  to  destroy  those 
hellish  pirates,"  though  it  obtained  the  liberation  of  forty  "  poor  cap- 
tives, which  they  pretended  was  all  they  had  in  the  towne."  "  The 
efforts  of  the  English  fleet  were  aided,"  says  Purchas,  "  by  a  Chris- 
tian captive,  which  did  swim  from  the  towne  to  the  ships."*  It  is 
not  in  this  respect  only  that  this  expedition  calls  to  rnind  that  of 
Charles  the  Fifth,  which  received  such  important  assistance  from 
the  rebel  slaves  ;  we  also  observe  a  similar  inconsistency  of  con- 
duct in  the  government  which  directed  it.  It  was  in  the  year  1020, 
—  dear  to  all  the  descendants  of  the  Pilgrims  of  Plymouth  Rock 
as  an  epoch  of  freedom,  —  while  an  English  fleet  was  seeking  the 
emancipation  of  Englishmen  held  in  bondage  by  Algiers,  that  black 
slaves  were  first  introduced  into  the  English  colonies  of  North 
America  !  f 

The  expedition  against  Algiers  was  followed,  in  1037,  by  another, 
under  the  command  of  Captain  Rainsborough,  against  Sallee,  in 
Morocco.  At  his  approach,  the  Moors  sold  a_thousand  of  their  cap- 
tives, British  subjects,  to  Tunis  and  Algiers.  Intestine  feud  aided 
the  fleet,  and  the  cause  of  emancipation  speedily  triumphed. J  Two 
hundred  and  ninety  British  captives  were  surrendered,  and  a  promise 
was  extorted  from  the  government  of  Sallee  to  redeem  the  thousand 
captives  who  had  been  sold  away  to  Tunis  and  Algiers.  An  am- 
bassador from  the  king  of  Morocco  shortly  afterwards  visited  Eng- 
land, and  on  his  way  to  his  audience  at  court  was  attended  through 
the  streets  of  London  "  by  four  Barbary  horses  led  along  in  rich  ca- 
parisons, and  richer  saddles,  with  bridles  set  with  stones  ;  also  some 
hawks  ;  many  of  tlie  captives  whom  he  brought  over  going  along 
afoot  clad  in  white.'"  § 

The  success  of  this  enterprise  seems  to  have  been  hailed  in  Eng- 
land with  singular  joy.  It  inspired  the  Muse  of  Waller, ||  and  filled 

*  Pun-lias's    Pilgrims,  pp.  885,  SSG ;    Southey's  Naval    History  of  England,  Vol. 
V.  pp.  60  -  (>'-\.      '1'ln  re  appears  to  have  been  a  publication  especially  relating  to  this 
expedition,  entitled,  "  Algiers  Voyage,  in  a  Journal!  or  briefe  Repertory  of  all  Oc- 
ciirrents   liapning   in   the    Fleet  of  Ships  sent  out  by  the  Kinge  his  Most  Excellent 
Majestie,  as  well  against  the  Pirates  of  Algiers  as  others.     London.     1621.    4to." 

t   Bancroft's  History  of  the  Tinted  States,  Vol.  I.  p.  187. 

*  They  al-o  uere  aided  hv  "  some  Christians  that  wore  slaves  ashore,  who  stole 
away  out  of  the  town  and  eaine  swimming  aboard."  —  Osborne's  Voyages,  —  Journal 
of  the  Sallee  Fleet,  Vol.  II.  p.  4'JIJ.     Sue  also  Mrs.  Macaulay's  History  of  England, 
Vol.  II.  Chap.  4.  p.  iil:>. 

Stafford's  Letters  and  Despatches,  Vol.  II.  pp.  86,  116, 129. 

||  Among  his  poems  is  one  "  On  the  Taking  of  Malice, "  in  which  he  describes  the 
\\~\i  of  the  aml>;'.s>ador  of  Morocco  with  presents;  — 


17 

with  exultation  the  dark  mind  of  Strafford.  "  Sallee,  the  town,  is 
taken,"  said  Archbishop  Laud  in  a  letter  to  the  latter,  in  Ireland, 
"  and  all  the  captives  at  Sallee  and  Morocco  delivered  ;  as  many, 
our  merchants  say,  as,  according  to  the  price,  of  the  markets,  come  to 
ten  thousand  pounds,  at  least."  *  Strafford  saw  in  the  popularity  of 
this  triumph  a  fresh  opportunity  to  commend  the  tyrannical  designs 
of  Charles  the  First.  "  This  action  of  Sallee,"  he  wrote  in  reply 
to  the  archbishop,  "  I  assure  you  is  full  of  honor,  and  should,  me- 
thinks,  help  much  towards  the  ready  cheerful  payment  of  the  ship- 
ping monies."  f 

The  coasts  of  England  were  now  protected  ;  but  her  subjects  at 
sea  continued  to  be  the  prey  of  Algerine  corsairs.  The  Jacobite 
historian  Carte  says,  |  —  "  They  carried  their  English  captives  to 
France,  drove  them  in  chains  overland  to  Marseilles,  to  ship  them 
thence  with  greater  safety  for  slaves  to  Algiers."  The  increasing 
troubles  which  distracted  and  finally  cut  short  the  reign  of  Charles 
the  First  did  not  divert  attention  from  the  sorrows  of  the  English- 
men who  had  fallen  into  the  hands  of  these  Mahometan  slave-driv- 
ers. At  the  very  height  of  the  struggles  between  the  king  and 
Parliament,  an  earnest  voice  was  raised  in  behalf  of  these  fellow- 
Christians  in  bonds.  §  There  are  publications  pleading  their  cause, 
bearing  dale  in  1640,  1642,  and  1647.  ||  The  overthrow  of  such 
an  odious  oppression  formed  a  worthy  object  for  the  imperial  energies 

"  Hither  he  sends  the  chief  among  his  peers, 
Who  in  his  bark  proportioned  presents  bears, 
To  the  renowned  for  piety  and  force, 
Poor  captives  manumised  and  matchless  horse." 

*  Strafford's  Letters  and  Despatches,  Vol.  II.  p.  131. 

t   Ibid.,  p.  138. 

t  Carte's  History  of  England,  Vol.  IV.  p.  231,  Book  22. 

§  Waller,  who  was  an  orator  as  well  as  poet,  in  a  speech  in  Parliament  in  1641, 
said,  —  "  By  the  many  petitions  which  we  receive  from  the  wives  of  those  miserable 
captives  at  Algiers  (being  between  four  and  five  thousand  of  our  countrymen)  it  does 
too  evidently  appear,  that  to  make  us  slaves  at  home  is  not  the  way  to  keep  us  from 
being  made  slaves  abroad."  -  Waller's  Works,  p.  271. 

||  Compassion  towards  Captives,  urged  in  Three  Sermons,  on  Heb.  xiii.  3,  by 
Charles  Fitz-Geoffrey,  1642.  Libertas  ;  or  Relief  to  the  English  Captives  in  Al- 
giers, by  Henry  Robinson,  London,  1647.  Letters  relating  to  the  Redemption  of  the 
Captive  in  Algiers,  at  Tunis,  by  Edward  Cason  Laud,  1647.  A  Relation  of  Seven 
Years'  Slavery  under  the  Turks  of  Algiers,  suffered  by  an  English  Captive  Merchant, 
with  a  Description  of  the  Sufferings  of  the  Miserable  Captives  under  that  Merciless 
Tyranny,  by  Francis  Knight,  London,  1640.  The  latter  publication  is  preserved  in 
the  Collection  of  Voyages  and  Travels  by  Osborne,  Vol.  II.  pp.  465-489. 

3 


I 


18 

of  Cromwell  ;  and  in  1655,  -  -  when,  amidst  the  amazement  of  Eu- 
rope, the  English  sovereignty  had  already  settled  upon  his  Atlante- 
an  shoulders, -- he  directed  a  navy  of  thirty  ships,  under  Admiral 
Blake,  into  the  Mediterranean.  This  was  the  most  powerful  Eng- 
lish force  which  had  sailed  into  that  sea  since  the  Crusades.*  Tu- 
nis and  Algiers  were  humbled  ;  all  British  captives  were  set  at 
liberty  ;  and  the  Protector,  in  his  remarkable  speech  at  the  opening 
of  Parliament  in  the  next  year,  announced  peace  with  the  "  pro- 
fane "  nations  in  that  region,  f 

Perhaps  no  single  circumstance  gives  a  higher  impression  of  the 
vigilance  with  which  the  Protector  guarded  his  subjects,  than  this  ef- 
fort. +  His  vigorous  sway  was  followed  by  the  effeminate  tyranny 
of  Charles  the  Second,  whose  restoration  was  inaugurated  by  an  un- 
successful expedition  under  Lord  Sandwich  against  Algiers.  This 
was  soon  followed  by  another  under  Admiral  Lawson,  with  a  more 
favorable  result.  §  By  a  treaty  bearing  date  May  3d,  1G62,  this 
piratical  government  expressly  stipulated,  "that  all  subjects  of  the 
king  of  Great  Britain,  now  slaves  in  Algiers,  or  any  of  the  territo- 
ries thereof,  be  set  at  liberty,  and  released,  upon  paying  the  price  they 
were  first  sold  for  in  the  market  ;  and  for  the  time  to  come  no  sub- 
jects of  his  Majesty  shall  be  bought  or  sold,  or  made  slaves  of,  in 
Algiers  or  its  territories."  ||  Other  expeditions  ensued,  and  other 

*  Hume  says  (Vol.  VII.  p.  X>.V.I,  Chap.  LXI.),  —  "  No  English  fleet,  except  during 
the  Crusades,  hud  iTir  before  sailed  in  those  seas.'"  lie  forgot,  or  was  not  aware  of, 
tlie  e\|n  .Inioii  of  Sir  John  Manse),  which  has  hem  already  referred  to  (//////,  p.  l.~>), 
the  expediency  (if  which  was  elaborately  debated  ill  the  Privy  Council  as  early  as 
llil?,  three  years  before  it  was  finally  undertaken.  Sec  Sou'Jiey's  .Naval  History  of 
England,  Vol.  V.  pp.  UD-  I",?. 

t  "And  .so  likewise  with  the  Portugal,  with  Franco,  — the  Mediterranean  Sea  ;  both 
these  States  ;  both  Christian  and  profane;  the  .Mahometan;  you  have  peace  \\iih 
Ihemall."  -  Carlyle's  Letters  and  Speeches  of  Cromwell,  Vol  II.  p.  ^r>,  Part  IX. 

Speech   V. 

••  <.'<  ueral  I51ak,"  said  one  of  the  foreign  agents  of  i'o\ , nmieiit,  "  has  ratifyed  the 
articles  of  peace  at  Argier,  and  included  therein  Scotch,  Irish,  Jarnsey  and  Garn- 
•meii,  and  all  others  the   Protector's  subjects.      He   has  lykewys    n  deemed  from 
thence    al    sin-h    as    wer    captives    ther.       Several   Dutch   raptices  sicam    aboard   the 
and  so  rsrajtc  tlinjr  r/ijiticity."   -  Thurloe's  State  Papers,  Vol.  III.  p.  .VJ7. 
U  Her,  in  his  p:uieg\ric  on  the  Protector,  has  the  fallowing  verses  :- 
"  Fame,  swifter  than  your  winged  navy,  flies 
Through  every  land  that  near  tin-  ocean  lies, 
S.umlmi:  \our  name,  and  telling  dreadful  news 
To  all  that,  piracy  and  rapine  u-e." 
§  Kapin's  History  of  England,  Vol.  II.  pp.  858,  -i.l 

des  Trnit>-  ,U  />«;.,,  T..,,,.  IV.  p.  !::. 


19 

treaties  in  1664,  1672,  1682,  and  1686, -- showing,  by  their  con- 
stant recurrence,  the  little  impression  produced  upon  the  minds  of 
these  barbarians.*  Insensible  to  justice  and  freedom,  they  naturally 
held  in  slight  regard  the  obligations  of  fidelity  to  any  stipulations 
in  restraint  of  robbery  and  slaveholding. 

Complaints  continued  to  be  made,  during  a  long  succession  of 
years,  of  the  sufferings  of  English  captives;!  and  many  American 
families,  even  in  those  early  days  of  the  Colonies,  \vhile  they  were 
still  struggling  with  the  savage  Indians,  were  compelled  to  mourn  the 
hapless  fate  of  brothers,  fathers,  and  husbands,  doomed  to  Algerine 
slavery.:}:  But  during  all  this  time,  the  slavery  of  blacks,  who  were 
transported  to  the  Colonies  under  English  colors,  still  continued. 

*  Ibid.,  pp.  307,  476,  703,  756. 

t  The  feelings  of  an  earnest  soul  found  expression  in  The  Gentleman's  Magazine 
for  1748,  Vol.  XVIII.  p.  531  :  - 

"  O  how  can  Britain's  sons  regardless  hear 
The  prayers,  sighs,  groans  (immortal  infamy!) 
Of  fellow-Britons,  with  oppression  sunk, 
In  bitterness  of  soul  demanding  aid, 
Calling  on  Britain,  their  dear  native  land, 
The  land  of  liberty  !  " 

t  In  the  MS.  diary  of  the  Rev.  John  Eliot  (the  first  minister  of  Roxbury,  and  the 
apostle  to  the  Indians)  prefixed  to  the  first  volume  of  the  Roxbury  Church  Records 
(Rev.  Dr.  Putnam's  church)  are  the  following  words  :  - 

"  1673,  3m.  [May.]  Tidings  concerning  the  redemption  of  Mr.  Foster  of  Charles- 
town  from  captivity,  after  neer  18  months'  slavery,  and  his  return  to  London,  his  sonn 
William  coming  home  to  his  mother  at  Charlestown,  having  been  his  fathrs  com- 
panion in  bondage." 

"  1G73,  Id.  10m.  [Dec.  1.]     Captain  Foster  returned  home  after  his  captivity.'' 
This  was  "  William  Foster,  of  Charkstnwn,  navigator,"  who  "  died   at   Charlfs- 
town,  May  8,  1698,  aged  about  80."     He  was  54  or  55   years  old  when  taken  cap- 
tive in  1671 . 

It  appears  by  the  MSS.  of  the  late  Hon.  William  Winthrop  of  Cambridge,  and  by 
the  probate  records  and  files  of  the  county  of  Middlesex  (Mass.),  that  Dr.  Daniel 
Mason  —  the  earliest  graduate  by  the  name  of  Mason  at  Harvard  College  —  sailed  as 
the  physician  and  surgeon  of  Captain  James  Ellson,  from  Charlestown,  about  1678 
or  1679,  in  a  ship  which  was  taken  by  a  Barbary  corsair  and  carried  into  Algiers, 
whence  these  persons  and  others  with  them  never  returned.  They  probably  died  in 
captivity.  In  a  testamentary  letter  addressed  to  his  wife,  and  dated  at  Algiers,  June 
30,  1679,  Captain  Ellson  desired  her  to  redeem  out  of  captivity  Asher  Bearstow  (of 
Watertown),  and  Richard  Ellson,  his  brother,  and  to  give  to  his  doctor,  Daniel  Ma- 
son, £5.  (Middlesex  Probate  Files.) 

William  Harris,  one  of  the  associates  of  Roger  Williams  in  the  first  planting  of 
Providence,  when  in  the  sixty-eighth  year  of  his  age,  undertook  a  voyage  to  Eng- 
land, to  defend  the  title  of  the  Petuxet  claimants,  and  to  obtain  from  the  king  exe- 
cution of  former  decrees  in  their  favor.  He  sailed  from  Boston  in  the  ship  Unity, 


20 

unwhile,  France  had  plied  Algiers  \\ith  embassies  and  bom- 
bardments. It  appears  that  in  1635  there  were  three  hundred  and 
forty-seven  Frenchmen  captives  there.  Monsieur  de  Sampson  was 
sent  on  an  unsuccessful  mission,  to  procure  their  liberation.  They 
were  offered  to  him  "•  for  the  price  they  were  sold  for  in  the  mar- 
ket ";  but  this  he  refused  to  pay.*  Next  came,  in  1G37,  Mon- 
sieur de  Mantel,  who  was  called  "  that  noble  captain,  and  glory  of 
the  French  nation,"  "with  fifteen  of  his  king's  ships,  and  a  com- 
mission to  enfranchise  the  French  slaves."  But  he  also  returned, 
leaving  his  countrymen  still  in  captivity. f  Treaties,  however,  fol- 
lowed at  a  later  day,  which  were  hastily  concluded,  and  abruptly 
broken,  till  at  last  Louis  the  Fourteenth  did  for  France  what  Crom- 
well had  done  for  England.  In  1684,  Algiers,  being  twice  bombard- 
ed |  by  his  command,  sent  deputies  to  sue  for  peace,  and  to  surren- 

"William  Condy  master.  The  vessel  was  taken  by  a  Barbary  corsair,  Jan.  24th,  l(!?!i, 
and  was  carried  to  Algiers,  where  Mr.  Harris  with  the  others,  on  the  23d  or  24th  of 
February,  was  sold  into  slavery.  After  remaining  in  this  condition  more  than  a 
year,  his  redemption  was  obtained  at  the  cost  of  $  1200,  "  the  price  of  a  good  farm," 
as  is  stated  in  some  of  his  papers.  The  fate  of  his  companions  i-  unknou  n. 

The  following  extract  from  the  MS.  journal  of  Chief  Justice  Samuel  Sewall  refers 
to  the  capti\  ity  of  still  another  American  :  — 

"  1714  -  5,  Jan.  \0th.  JMIOWN  day.  Mr.  Gee  sends  his  son  to  invite  me  to  diner 
to-niorro\v  at  his  lions. —  Tuesday,  Jan.  11  th.  Went  thither,  where  din'd  Dr.  In- 
crease  and  Dr.  Cotton  Mather,  Mr.  Bridge,  Mr.  Wadsworth,  Mr.  Thornton  [Timo- 
thy], Mr.  Jno.  Marion,  Deacon  Barnard,  Mr.  Ruck,  Capt.  Martvn,  Mr.  Hallawell. 
It  seems  it  was  in  remembrance  of  his  landing  this  day  at  Boston,  after  liis  Algerine 
captivity.  Had  a  good  treat.  Dr.  Cotton  Mather,  in  returning  thanks.  ver\  well 
comprised  nian\  weighty  things  very  pertinently." 

It  is  to  be  hoped  that  among  the  weighty  things  very  pertinently  comprised  by 
Cotton  Mather  in  returning  thanks  was  a  condemnation  of  slavery.  He  could  not 
then  have  shrunk  from  giving  utterance  to  that  faith  which  preaches  deliverance  to 
the  captive. 

I  am  indebted  lor  these  notices  to  Dr.  Harris,  the  Librarian  of  Harvard  University, 
and  Mr.  J.  Wingate  Thornton,  of  the  Boston  bar,  both  of  whom  have  intended 
ilieniM-K  e.-.  milch  iii  our  early  history.  It  is  probable  that  other  cases  might  be 
traced,  hen  and  in  other  parts  of  the  country. 

'  ()-!.., i  IH-  \o\ages,  Vol.  II.  p.  4G8;  Relation  of  Seven  Years'  Slavery  in  Al- 
^H  rs. 

t   Ibid.,  p.  470. 

*  In  the  melancholy  hi>tory  of  war,  this  is  noticed  as  the  earliest  instance  of  the 
bomlianlnii  nt  of  a  town.  Sismondi,  who  never  fails  to  regard  the  past  in  the  light  of 
hnmaiiiiN,  n  marks,  that  "Louis  the  Fourteenth  was  the  first  to  put  in  practice  the 
atrocion-  method,  m-wlv  in\  en  ted,  of  bombarding  towns,  —  of  burning  them,  not  to 
lake  ill'  in,  lnit  to  dotroy  them,  —  of  attacking,  nut  furlifirnLions,  but  private  houses, 
—  nut  soldiers,  but  [mifcullc  inhabitants,  women  and  children,  —  and  of  confounding 


21 

der  all  her  Christian  slaves.  Tunis  and  Tripoli  made  the  same 
submission.  Voltaire  says,  with  his  accustomed  point,  that,  by  this 
transaction,  the  French  became  respected  on  the  coast  of  Africa, 
where  they  had  before  been  known  only  by  the  slaves  which  the 
barbarians  there  had  made.* 

A  story  is  told  f  which  shows  the  little  interest  taken  by  the 
French  in  the  cause  of  general  freedom,  even  while  engaged  in  se- 
curing the  emancipation  of  their  own  countrymen.  As  an  officer  of 
the  triumphant  fleet  received  the  Christian  slaves  who  were  brought 
to  him  and  liberated,  he  observed  among  them  many  English,  who, 
in  the  vain  pride  of  nationality,  maintained  that  they  were  set  at  lib- 
erty out  of  regard  to  the  king  of  England.  The  Frenchman  at  once 
summoned  the  Algerines,  and,  returning  the  English  captives  into 
their  hands,  said,  --"  These  people  pretend  that  they  have  been 
delivered  in  the  name  of  their  monarch  ;  mine  does  not  offer  them 
his  protection.  I  return  them  to  you.  It  is  for  you  to  show  what 
you  owe  to  the  king  of  England."  The  miserable  captives  were 
again  hurried  to  prolonged  slavery.  The  power  of  Charles  the 
Second  was  as  impotent  in  their  behalf  as  was  the  sense  of  justice 
and  humanity  in  the  French  officer  and  the  Algerine  government. 

Time  would  fail,  even  if  the  materials  were  at  hand,  to  develop 
the  course  of  other  efforts  of  France  against  the  Barbary  States. 
Nor  can  I  dwell  upon  the  determined  conduct  of  Holland,  one  of 
whose  greatest  naval  commanders,  Admiral  de  Ruyter,  in  1661,  en- 
forced at  Algiers  the  emancipation  of  several  hundred  Christian 
slaves-! 

Thus  far  I  have  chiefly  followed  the  history  of  military  expedi- 
tions against  the  Barbary  States.  But  peaceful  measures  were  often 
employed  to  procure  the  redemption  of  slaves  ;  and  money  accom- 
plished what  was  vainly  attempted  by  the  sword.  It  was  the  habit 
of  the  European  governments,  in  furtherance  of  this  object,  to  send 

thousands  of  private  crimes,  each  one  of  which  would  cause  horror,  in  one  great  pub- 
lic crime,  one  great  disaster,  ichich  he  regarded  only  as  one  of  the  catastrophes  of 
war."  •  —  Sismondi,  Histoire  des  Fran^ais,  Tom.  XXV.  p.  452.  How  much  of  this 
is  justly  applicable  to  the  recent  most  wretched  murder  of  women  and  children  by 
the  forces  of  the  United  States  at  Vera  Cruz !  Algiers  was  bombarded  in  the  cause 
of  freedom;  Vera  Cruz,  to  extend  slavery. 

*  Sitcle  de  Louis  XIV.,  ch.  14. 

t  Ibid. 

}   Gentleman's  Magazine,  Vol.  XVIII.  p.  441. 


22 

missions  to  the  different  states.  These  sometimes  had  a  formal  di- 
plomatic organization  ;  sometimes  they  consisted  of  fathers  of  the 
Church,  who  held  it  a  sacred  office,  to  which  they  were  especially 
called,  to  open  the  prison-doors  and  let  the  captives  go  free.* 
It  was  hy  the  intervention  of  the  superiors  of  the  Order  of  the  Holy 
Trinity,  who  were  despatched  to  Algiers  by  Philip  the  Second  of 
Spain,  that  Cervantes  obtained  his  freedom  by  ransom,  in  1579.f 
The  expeditions  of  commerce  often  served  to  promote  similar  de- 
signs of  charity,  and  the  English  government,  forgetting  or  distrust- 
ing all  their  sleeping  thunder,  sometimes  condescended  to  barter  arti- 
cles of  merchandise  for  the  liberty  of  their  subjects.:}: 

Private  efforts  often  secured  the  freedom  of  slaves.  Friends  at 
home  naturally  exerted  themselves  in  their  behalf;  and  many  fami- 
lies were  straitened  by  generous  contributions  to  this  sacred  purpose. 
It  appears  that  in  1642  there  were  four  French  brothers  ransomed 
at  the  price  of  six  thousand  dollars.  At  this  same  period,  the  sum 
exacted  for  the  poorest  Spaniards  was  "  a  thousand  shillings,"  while 
Genoese,  "  if  under  twenty-two  years  of  age,  were  freed  for  a  hun- 
dred pounds  sterling."  §  These  charitable  endeavours  were  aided 
by  the  cooperation  of  benevolent  persons.  As  early  as  the  thir- 

*  It  is  to  the  relations  of  several  of  these  missions,  that  we  are  indebted  for  works 
of  interest  on  the  Barbary  States.     Busnot,  Histoire  du  Rkgnc  <//•  Moult  ij  L<!<m<iel,  a 


ni,  171-1.  The  author  was  a  father  of  the  Holy  Trinity,  \\lio  went,  accompanied 
by  some  other  monks,  to  Morocco,  for  the  redemption  of  French  capthes.  J«in  de 
In  I  'mil,  1,'rlii/ian,  en  Forme  de  Journal,  du  Voyage  pour  la  Redemption  ilcn  Cn/iti  /'.-•,  ir 
fa  //.-;,  17','.").  Voyage  to  Barbary  for  the  Redemption  of  (.'<i[itiri-g  in  17'JO,  ////  tlir  .!,'</- 
lliiirin-Ti  inilin'nni  Fathers,  London,  17135.  This  is  a  translation  from  the  French. 
l!rnit/i  waitc'y  1  [/.-story  of  the  Revolution.*  of  tlir  I'mjiin  <if  Morocco,  London,  I  ?'J!  I.  This 
contains  a  journal  of  the  mission  of  John  Russel,  F.sq.,  from  the  English  government 
in  Morocco,  to  obtain  the.  liberation  of  slaves.  The  expedition  seems  to  have  been 
thoroughly  equipped.  "The  Moors,''  says  the  author,  "find  plen;\  of  r\ery  thing 
hut  drink,  hut  for  that  the  F.nglish  generally  take  care  of  themselves  ;  fiir.  besides 
chairs,  tattles,  knives,  fork-,  (dales,  table-linen,  iVc.,  we  had  two  or  three  mules, 
loaded  with  wine,  brandy,  sugar,  and  utensils  fir  pinn-h."  -  p.  82. 

t  Roscoe's  Life  of  Cervantes,  p.  43. 

{  "The  following  goods,  designed  as  a  present  from  his  .M.ij.  -i\  to  the  Dey  of  Al- 

,  to  redeem  near  one  hundred  Fujrlish  captives  lately  taken,  were  entered  at  the 

i  U-!  <iiii  -house,  viz.,  —  20  (pieces  of  broadcloth,  '-'  pieces  of  brocade,  2  piece-  of  >il\  er 

tabbv,  I   piece  of  gi-'en  damask,  -  pit  C(  s  nt   Holland.  Hi   pieces  of  cambric,  a  gold  re- 

(..  ;i!niL'  \\atch,  -1  silver  do.,  •-!!)  pounds  of  tea,  300  of  loaf-sugar,  5  fuzees,  ~>  pair  of 
pistols,   an  escrntoire,  •>   clock-,  and    a    box   oft  —Gent.  Mag.,   Vol.  IV.  p.  104 

(173 

<>-!,onic's  Voyages,  Vol.  II.  p.  -Hi);    Relation  of  Seven  Years'  Slavery  in  Al- 


23 

teenth  century,  the  Society  of  the  Fathers  of  Redemption  was  found- 
ed, under  the  sanction  of  Innocent  the  Third,  expressly  for  the  ran- 
som of  Christian  slaves  from  infidels.*     In  Spain  annual  contribu- 
tions were  taken  for  this  purpose  ;  and   as  late  as   1748,   we   meet 
with  a  proposition  in  England  "  to  establish  a  society  to  carry  on  the 
truly  charitable  design  of  emancipating  "  sixty-four  Englishmen,  in 
slavery   in    Morocco. f      Cervantes   confesses    his    gratitude    to  the 
Society  of  Redemption^  and  none  can  fail  to  bless  the   authors  of 
that  institution   of    beneficence,  —  the   harbinger   of  others   whose 
mission  is  still  unfinished.      An  early  Spanish  historian,  recounting 
the  origin  of  this  Society,  — which  was  said  to  have  been  suggested 
by  an  angel  in  the  sky,  clothed  in  resplendent  light,  holding  a  Chris- 
tian captive  in  his  right  hand  and  a  Moor  in  the  left,  —  declares  that 
it  was  not  the  work  of  men,  but  of  the  great  God  alone. §     And  he 
dwells  on  the  glory  of  their  lives,  as  surpassing  far  that  of  a  Roman 
triumph  ;  for  they  share  the  name  as  well  as  the  labors  of  the  Re- 
deemer of  the  world,  to   whose   spirit  they  are   the   heirs,  and   to 
whose  works  they  are  the  successors.     "  Lucullus,"  he  says,  affirm- 
ed,   "  that  it  were  better  to  liberate  a  single  Roman  from  the  hands 
of  the  enemy,  than  to  gain  all  their  wealth  ;  but  how   much   greater 
the  gain,  more  excellent  the  glory,  and  more  than  human  is  it  to  re- 
deem a  captive  !     For  whosoever  redeems  him  not  only  liberates 
him  from  one  death,  but  from  death  in  a  thousand  ways,  and  those 
ever  present,  and   also  from  a   thousand   afflictions,  a  thousand  mis- 
eries, a  thousand  torments  and  fearful  travails,  more  cruel  than  death 
itself."  I) 

War  and  ransom,  however,  were  not  the  only  agents  in  the  eman- 
cipation of  the  Christian  slaves  in  the  Barbary  States.  It  is  not  to 
be  supposed  that  they  endured  their  lot  without  efforts  to  escape  from 
its  hardships. 

"  Since  the  first  moment  they  put  on  my  chains, 
I  've  thought  on  nothing  but  the  weight  of  them, 
And  how  to  throw  them  off." 

These   are  the  words  of  a  slave  in   the  play  ;  H    but  they  express 

*  Biot,  De  VAlolition  de  VEsdavage  Ancien,  p.  437. 

I  Gentleman's  Mag.,  Vol.  XVIII.  p.  413. 

t  Roscoe's  Life  of  Cervantes,  p.  50.     See  his  story  of  EspaTiola  Inglesa. 

§  Haedo,  Historia  de  Argel,  pp.  142-144  ;  Dialogo  I.  de  la  Captiudad. 

||  Ibid.,  pp.  141,  142. 

IT  Oronooko,  Act  III.  Sc.  I.      It   is  not  strange  that  the  antislavery  character  of 


24 

the  natural  sentiments  of  all  who  have  intelligence  sufficient  to  ap- 
preciate the  great  boon  of  freedom.  "  Thanks  be  to  God,"  says 
the  captive  in  Don  Quixote,  "  for  the  great  mercies  bestowed  upon 
me  ;  for,  in  my  opinion,  there  is  no  happiness  on  earth  equal  to  that 
of  liberty  regained."*  The  history  of  Algiers  abounds  in  well-au- 
thenticated examples  of  conspiracy  against  the  government  by  Chris- 
tian slaves.  So  strong  was  the  passion  for  freedom  !  In  1531  and 
1559,  two  different  plans  were  matured,  which  promised  for  a  while 
entire  success.  The  slaves  were  numerous  ;  they  had  supplied  them- 
selves with  arms,  and  keys  had  been  forged  with  which  to  open  the 
prisons  ;  but  their  plot  was  revealed  by  one  of  their  own  number  to 
the  Dey,  who  doomed  the  conspirators  to  the  bastinado  and  the  stake. 
Cervantes,  during  his  captivity,  nothing  daunted  by  these  disappoint- 
ed efforts,  and  the  terrible  vengeance  which  awaited  them,  conceiv- 
ed the  plan  of  a  general  rising  of  the  Christian  slaves,  to  secure 
their  freedom  by  the  overthrow  of  the  Algerine  power,  and  the  sur- 
render of  the  city  to  the  Spanish  crown.  This  was  in  the  spirit  of 
the  sentiment  which  he  has  expressed  in  his  writings,  that  "  for  lib- 
erty we  ought  to  risk  life  itself,  slavery  being  the  greatest  evil  that 
can  fall  to  the  lot  of  man."  f  As  late  as  1763,  we  find  mention  of 
a  similar  rising  or  conspiracy.  "  Last  month,"  says  a  journal  of 
high  authority,  |  "  the  Christian  slaves  at  Algiers,  to  the  number  of 

tliis  play  rendered  it  an  unpopular  performance  at  Liverpool,  while  the  merchants  of 
that  port  were  concerned    in  the  slave-trade. 

*  Don  Huixote,  Part  I.  Book  IV.  Chap.  12.  The  same  sentiment  is  expressed 
by  Thomas  Phelps,  in  his  account  of  his  captivity  ami  e-i  ape  fmm  Machiness,  in 
Morocco,  in  1685.  "Since  my  escape,"  he  says,  "  from  captivity,  and  woise  than 
I. i:\ptian  hondage,  I  have,  methinks,  enjoyed  a  happiness  with  whieh  my  I'm-im  r 
lile  was  never  aeipiainted  ;  now  that,  after  a  storm  and  terrilile  tempest,  I  lia\e. 
hv  miracle,  put  into  a  sate  and  quiet  harlmnr,  —  after  a  ni"-i  miserable  slavery  to 
the  most  unreasonahle  and  harharous  of  men,  now  that  1  enjoy  the  immunities 
and  freedom  of  my  native  country  and  the  privileges  of  a  subject  of  England, 
although  my  circumstances  otherwise  are  hut  indifferent,  yet  I  find  I  am  affect- 
ed with  extraordinary  emotions  and  singular  transports  of  joy;  now  I  know  what 
liberty  is,  and  can  put  a  value  and  make  a  just  estimate  of  that  happiness  which 
hell.re  I  never  well  understood.  Health  can  lie  Init  slightly  esteemed  liy  him  who 
ne\er  was  acquainted  with  pain  or  sickness;  and  lihertv  and  freedom  are  the  hap- 
piness only  valuable  by  a  reflection  on  captivity  and  sla\ei\ ."  —  Osborne's  Voyages, 
Vol.  II.  p.  500. 

I  Roscoe's  Life  of  Cervantes,  pp.  32,  310,  311.  Thomas  Phelps  breaks  forth  in  a 
similar  strain: — "I  looked  upon  mv  condition  as  desperate;  my  forlorn  and  lan- 
guishing Mate  of  lit;-,  without  any  hope  of  redemption,  appeared  far  worse  than  the 
1 1  n'T-  nf  a  most  cruel  death."  —  ( )sbornc*s  Voyages,  Vol.  II.  p.  504. 

\  British  Annual  Register,  Vol.  VI.  p.  60. 


25 

four  thousand,  rose  and  killed  their  guards,  and  massacred  all  who 
came  in  their  way  ;  but  after  some  hours'  carnage,  during  which 
the  streets  ran  with  blood,  peace  was  restored." 

But  the  struggles  for  freedom  did  not  always  assume  the  shape  of 
conspiracies  against  the  government.  They  were  often  efforts  to  es- 
cape, sometimes  in  numbers,  and  sometimes  singly.  Cervantes's 
captivity  was  filled  with  such  endeavours,  in  which,  however,  he  was 
constantly  balked,  although  he  persevered  with  determined  skill 
and  courage.  One  of  these  was  favored  by  some  of  his  own  coun- 
trymen, who  were  hovering  on  the  coast  in  a  vessel  from  Majorca, 
and  who  did  not  think  it  wrong  to  aid  in  the  liberation  of  captives. 
Another  was  favored  by  certain  Christian  merchants  resident  at  Al- 
giers, through  whose  agency  a  vessel  was  actually  purchased  for  this 
purpose.*  And  still  another  was  supposed  to  be  aided  by  a  Span- 
ish ecclesiastic,  Father  Olivar,  who  had  visited  Algiers  to  procure 
the  legal  redemption  of  slaves,  and  who,  it  was  thought,  might  not 
be  unwilling  to  promote  their  escape.  If  he  had  any  such  generous 
design,  he  paid  the  penalty  which  similar  purposes  have  found  else- 
where and  in  another  age.  He  was  seized  by  the  Dey  and  thrown 
into  chains  ;  for  it  was  regarded  by  the  Algerine  government  as  a 
high  offence  to  further  in  any  way  the  escape  of  a  slave. f 

Endeavours  for  freedom  are  animating  ;  nor  can  any  honest  nature 
hear  of  them  without  a  throb  of  sympathy.  As  we  dwell  on  the 
painful  narrative  of  the  unequal  contest  between  tyrannical  power 
and  the  crushed  captive  or  slave,  we  cannot  but  enter  the  lists  on  the 
side  of  freedom  ;  and  as  we  behold  the  contest  waged  by  a  few 
individuals,  or,  perhaps,  by  one  alone,  our  sympathy  is  given  to  his 
weakness  as  well  as  to  his  cause.  To  him  we  send  the  unfalter- 
ing succour  of  our  good  wishes.  For  him  we  invoke  vigor  of  arm 
to  defend,  and  fleetness  of  foot  to  escape.  The  enactments  of  hu- 
man laws  are  vain  to  restrain  the  warm  tides  of  our  hearts.  We 
pause  with  rapture  on  those  historic  scenes  in  which  freedom  has 
been  attempted  or  preserved  through  the  magnanimous  self-sacrifice 
of  friendship  or  Christian  aid.  We  follow  with  palpitating  bosom 
the  midnight  flight  of  Mary  of  Scotland  from  the  custody  of  her 

*  Roscoe's  Life  of  Cervantes,  pp.  31,  308,  309.  I  refer  to  Roscoe  as  the  popular  au- 
thority. His  work  appears  to  be  little  more  than  a  compilation  from  Navarrete  and 
Sismondi. 

t  Ibid.,  p.  33.     See  also  Haedo,  Historia  de  Argd,  p.  185. 

4 


26 

stern  jailers,  —  we  accompany  Grotius  in  his  escape  from  prison  in 
Holland,  so  adroitly  promoted  by  his  wife,  -  -  we  join  with  Lava- 
lette  in  France,  in  his  flight,  aided  also  by  his  wife,  --and  we  offer 
our  admiration  and  gratitude  to  Huger  and  Bollrnan,  who,  unawed 
by  the  arbitrary  ordinances  of  Austria,  strove  heroically,  though 
vainly,  to  rescue  Lafayette  from  the  dungeons  of  Olmutz.  The 
laws  of  Algiers  —  which  sanctioned  a  cruel  slavery,  and  which 
doomed  to  condign  penalties  all  endeavours  for  freedom,  and  espe- 
cially all  support  and  countenance  of  such  endeavours  —  can  no 
longer  prevent  our  homage  to  Cervantes,  not  less  gallant  than  re- 
nowned, who  strove  so  constantly  and  earnestly  to  escape  his  chains, 
—  nor  to  those  Christians  who  did  not  fear  to  aid  him,  nor  to  the 
good  ecclesiastic  who  suffered  in  his  cause. 

It  may  not  be  without  interest  to  pursue  the  story  of  some  of 
these  efforts  to  escape  from  slavery  in  the  Barbary  States,  so  far  as 
they  can  be  traced.  The  following  is  in  the  exact  words  of  an 
early  writer  :  — 

"One  John  Fox,  an  expert  mariner,  and  a  good,  approved,  and 
sufficient  gunner,  was  (in  the  raignc  of  Queene  Elizabeth)  taken  by 
the  Turkes,  and  kept  eighteene  yeeres  in  most  miserable  bondage 
and  slavery  ;  at  the  end  of  which  time,  he  espied  his  opportunity 
(and  God  assisting  him  withall)  that  hee  slew  his  keeper,  and  fled 
to  the  sea's  side,  where  he  found  a  gaily  with  one  hundred  and  fifty 
captive  Christians,  which  hee  speedily  waving  their  anchor,  set  saile, 
and  fell  to  worke  like  men,  and  safely  arrived  in  Spaone  ;  by  which 
meanes,  he  freed  himselfe  and  a  number  of  poor  soules  from  long 
and  intolerable  servitude  ;  after  which,  the  said  John  Fox  came  into 
England,  and  the  Queene  (being  rightly  informed  of  Jiis  brave  ex- 
ploit} did  graciously  enterlaine  him  for  her  sen- ant,  and  allowed 
him  a  yeerlij  pension." 

In  1G21, a  ship  of  Bristol  was  captured  by  an  Algerine  corsair,  of 
whose  fate  we  have  a  quaint  description.  All  the  Englishmen  were 
taken  out  except  four  youths,  over  whom  the  Turks,  as  these  bar- 
barians were  often  called  by  early  writers,  put  thirteen  of  their  own 
men,  to  conduct  the  ship  as  a  prize  to  Algiers  ;  and  one  of  the  pi- 
rates was  appointed  captain,  being  a  strong,  able,  stern,  and  resolute 
person.  "  These  four  poor  youths,"  so  the  story  proceeds,  "  being 
thus  fallen  into  the  hands  of  merciless  infidels,  began  to  study  and 


I'nrclias's  Pilgrims,  Vol.  II.  p.  388 


27 

complot  all  the  means  they  could  for  the  obtayning  of  their  freedom. 
They  considered  the  lamentable  and  miserable  estates  that  they  were 
like  to  be  in,  as  to  be  debarred  for  ever  from  seeing  their  friends  and 
country,  to  be  chained,  beaten,  made  slaves,  and  to  eat  the  bread  of 
affliction  in  the  galleys,  all  the  remainder  of  their  unfortunate  lives, 
and,  which  was  worst  of  all,  never  to  be  partakers  of  the  heavenly 
word  and  sacraments.     Thus  being  quite  hopeless,  and,  for  any  thing 
they  knew,  for  ever  helpless,  they  sailed  five  days  and  nights  under 
the  command  of  the  pirates,  when,  on  the  fifth  night,  God,  in   his 
great  mercy,  shewed  them  a  means  for  their  wished-for  escape."     A 
sudden  wind  arose,  when  the  captain  coming  to   help  take  in   the 
main-sail,  two  of  the  English  youths    "suddenly  took   him  by  the 
breech  and  threw  him  overboard ;  but  by  fortune  he  fell  into  the  bunt 
of  the  sail,  where  quickly  catching  hold  of  a  rope,  he,  being  a  very 
strong  man,  had  almost  gotten  into  the  ship  again  ;  which  John  Cook 
perceiving,  leaped   speedily  to  the   pump,   and   took  off  the  pump- 
brake  or  handle  and  cast  it  to   William   Long,  bidding  him   knock 
him  down,  which  he  was  not  long  in  doing,  but,  lifting  up  the  wooden 
weapon,  he  gave  him  such  a  palt  on  the   pate,  as  made  his  braines 
forsake  the  possession  of  his  head,  with  which  his  body  fell  into  the 
sea."    The  corsairs  were  overpowered.     The  English  youths  drove 
them    "from  place  to  place  in  the  ship,  and  having  coursed  them 
from  poop  to  the  forecastle,  they  there  valiantly  killed  two  of  them, 
and  gave   another  a  dangerous   wound  or   two,  who,  to  escape  the 
further  fury  of  their  swords,  leaped  suddenly  overboard   to  go   seek 
his   captain."      The  other  nine  Turks  ran   between-decks,   where 
they  were   fastened  by  the    English,  who,  directing   their  course  to 
St.  Lucas,  in  Spain,  "  in  short  time,  by  God's   ayde,    happily  and 
safely  arrived  at  the  said  port,  where   they  sold  the  nine   Turks  for 
galley  slaves,  for  a  good  summe  of  money,  and,  as  I  thinke,  a  great 
deal  more  than  they  were  worth."  *     "  He  that  shall  attribute  such 
things  as  these,"  says  the  ancient  historian,  grateful  for  this  triumph 
of  freedom,  "  to  the  arm  of  flesh  and  blood,  is  forgetful,  ungrateful, 
and  in  a  manner  Atheistical." 

There  is  another  narrative,  derived  from  the  same  source,  of  sin- 
gular success  on  the  part  of  several  Englishmen  in  regaining  their 
freedom.  Being  captured  and  carried  into  Algiers,  they  were  sold 
as  slaves.  In  the  words  of  one  of  their  number,  —  "  We  icere  hur- 
ried like  dogs  into  the  market,  where,  as  men  sell  hacknies  in  Eng- 

*  Purchas's  Pilgrims,  Vol.  II.  pp.  882,  883. 


28 

land,  we  were  tossed  up  and  down  to  ste  who  icould  give  most  for 
us  ;  and  although  we  had  heavy  Jtearts  and  looked  with  sad  coun- 
tenances, yet  many  came  to  behold  us,  sometimes  taking  us  by  the 
hand,  sometimes  turning  us  round  about,  sometimes  feeling  our 
brawny  and  naked  armes,  and  so  beholding  our  prices  written  in 
our  breasts,  they  bargained  for  us  accordingly,  and  at  last  we 
were  all  soW."  Shortly  afterwards  several  of  these  Englishmen 
were  put  on  board  an  Algerine  corsair  to  serve  as  slaves.  One 
of  them,  John  Rawlins,  who  resembled  Cervantes  in  the  hardi- 
hood of  his  exertions  for  freedom,  —  as,  like  him,  he  had  lost  the 
use  o(  an  arm, — arranged  a  rising  on  board.  "O  hellish  slav- 
ery," he  said,  "  to  be  thus  subject  to  dogs  !  O  God  !  strength- 
en my  heart  and  hand,  and  something  shall  be  done  to  ease  us  of 
these  mischiefs,  and  deliver  us  from  these  cruel  Mahometan  dogs. 
What  can  be  worse  ?  I  will  either  attempt  my  deliverance  at  one 
time  or  another,  or  perish  in  the  enterprise."  An  auspicious  mo- 
ment was  seized,  and  eight  English  slaves  and  one  French,  with  the 
assistance  of  four  Hollanders  that  were  freemen,  succeeded,  after  a 
bloody  contest,  in  overpowering  fifty-two  Turks.  "  When  all  was 
done,"  the  story  proceeds,  "  and  the  ship  cleared  of  the  dead 
bodies,  Rawlins  assembled  his  men  together,  and  with  one  consent 
gave  the  praise  unto  God,  using  the  accustomed  service  on  ship- 
board, and,  for  want  of  books,  lifted  up  their  voices  to  God,  as  he 
put  into  their  hearts  or  renewed  their  memories  ;  then  did  they  sing 
a  psalm,  and,  last  of  all,  embraced  one  another  for  playing  the  men 
in  such  a  deliverance,  whereby  our  fear  was  turned  into  joy,  and 
trembling  hearts  exhilarated  that  we  had  escaped  such  inevitable 
dangers,  and  especially  the  slavery  and  terror  of  bondage  wrorse 
than  death  itself.  The  same  night  we  washed  our  ship,  put  every 
thing  in  as  good  order  as  we  could,  repaired  the  broken  quarter,  set 
up  the  biticle,  and  bore  up  the  helme  for  England,  where,  by  God's 
grace  and  good  guiding,  we  arrived  at  Plimouth,  February  17th, 
1G22."* 

In  1685,  Thomas  Phelps  and  Edward  Baxter,  Englishmen,  ac- 
complished their  escape  from  captivity  in  Machiness,  in  Morocco. 
One  of  them  had  made  a  previous  unsuccessful  attempt,  which  had 
drawn  upon  him  the  punishment  of  the  bastinado,  disabling  him  from 
work  for  a  twelve-month  ;  "  but  such  was  his  love  of  Christian  liber- 

'  IN.n  h;,,s  Pilgrims,  Vol.  II.  j.p.  889-896. 


29 

ty,  that  he  freely  declared  to  his  companion,  that  he  would  adven- 
ture with  any  fair  opportunity."  By  devious  paths,  sheltering 
themselves  from  observation  by  day  in  bushes,  or  in  the  branches  of 
fig-trees,  they  at  length  reached  the  sea.  With  imminent  risk  of 
discovery,  they  succeeded  in  finding  a  boat,  not  far  from  Sallee, 
which  they  took  without  consulting  the  proprietor,  and  rowed  to  a 
ship  at  a  distance,  which,  to  their  great  joy,  proved  to  be  an  English 
man-of-war.  Making  known  to  the  commander  the  exposed  situa- 
tion of  some  of  the  Moorish  ships  at  Mamora,  they  formed  part  of 
an  expedition  in  boats,  which  boarded  and  burnt  these  ships  in  the 
night.  "  One  Moor,"  says  the  account,  "  we  found  aboard,  who 
was  presently  cut  in  pieces  ;  another  was  shot  in  the  head,  endeav- 
ouring to  escape  upon  the  cable  ;  we  were  not  long  in  taking  in  our 
shavings  and  tar-barrels,  and  so  set  her  on  fire  in  several  places, 
she  being  very  apt  to  receive  what  we  designed  ;  for  there  were  sev- 
eral barrels  of  tar  upon  deck,  and  she  was  newly  tarred,  as  if  on  pur- 
pose. Whilst  we  were  setting  her  on  fire,  we  heard  a  noise  of 
some  people  in  the  hold  ;  we  opened  the  skuttles,  and  thereby  saved 
the  lives  of  four  Christians,  three  Dutchmen  and  one  French,  who 
told  us  the  ship  on  fire  was  admiral,  and  belonged  to  Aly-Hack- 
um,  and  the  other,  which  we  soon  after  served  with  the  same  sauce, 
was  the  very  ship  which  in  October  last  took  me  captive."  The 
Englishman,  once  a  captive,  who  tells  this  story,  says  it  is  "  most 
especially  to  move  pity  for  the  afflictions  of  Joseph,  to  excite  com- 
passionate regard  to  those  poor  countrymen  now  languishing  in  mis- 
ery and  irons,  to  endeavour  their  releasement." 

At  a  still  later  day,  there  are  instances  of  the  escape  of  captives. 
In  the  British  Annual  Register, f  there  is  an  account  of  one  in  a  letter 
from  Algiers,  dated  August  6th,  1772.  "  A  most  remarkable  es- 
cape," it  says,  "  of  some  Christian  prisoners  has  lately  been  effected 
here,  which  will  undoubtedly  cause  those  that  have  not  had  that  good 
fortune  to  be  treated  with  the  utmost  rigor.  On  the  morning  of  the 
27th  July,  the  Dey  was  informed  that  all  the  Christian  slaves  had 
escaped  the  over-night  in  a  galley  ;  this  news  soon  raised  him,  and, 
upon  inquiry,  it  was  found  to  have  been  a  preconcerted  plan. 
About  ten  at  night,  seventy-four  slaves,  who  had  found  means 
to  escape  from  their  masters,  met  in  a  large  square  near  the  gate 

*  Osborne's  Voyages,  Vol.  II.  pp.  497-510. 
t  Vol.  XV.  p.  130. 


30 

which  opens  to  the  harbour,  and,  being  well  armed,  they  soon 
forced  the  guard  to  submit,  and,  to  prevent  their  raising  the  city, 
confined  them  all  in  the  powder-magazine.  They  then  proceeded  to 
the  lower  part  of  the  harbour,  where  they  embarked  on  board  a  large 
rowing  polacre  that  was  left  there  for  the  purpose,  and,  the  tide 
ebbing  out,  they  fell  gently  down  with  it,  and  passed  both  the  forts. 
As  soon  as  this  was  known,  three  large  galleys  were  ordered  out  after 
them  ;  but  to  no  purpose.  They  returned  in  three  days,  with  the 
news  of  seeing  the  polacre  sail  into  Barcelona,  where  the  galleys 
durst  not  go  to  attack  her." 

In  the  same  journal  *  there  is  another  account,  in  a  letter,  dated 
September  3d,  1776,  from  Palma,  the  capital  of  Majorca.  "  Forty- 
six  captives,"  it  says,  "who  were  employed  to  draw  stones  from  a 
quarry  some  leagues'  distance  from  Algiers,  at  a  place  named  Geno- 
va,  resolved,  if  possible,  to  recover  their  liberty,  and  yesterday  took 
advantage  of  the  idleness  and  inattention  of  forty  men  who  were  to 
guard  them,  and  who  had  laid  down  their  arms,  and  were  rambling 
about  the  shore.  The  captives  attacked  them  with  pick-axes  and 
other  tools,  and  made  themselves  masters  of  their  arms  ;  and,  having 
killed  thirty-three  of  the  forty,  and  eleven  of  the  thirteen  sailors  who 
yvere  in  the  boat  which  carried  the  stones,  they  obliged  the  rest  to 
jump  into  the  sea.  Being  then  masters  of  the  boat,  and  armed  with 
twelve  muskets,  two  pistols,  and  powder,  they  set  sail  and  had  the 
good  fortune  to  arrive  here  this  morning,  where  they  are  performing 
quarantine.  Sixteen  of  them  are  Spaniards  ;  seventeen  French  ; 
eight  Portuguese  ;  three  Italian  ;  one  a  German  ;  and  one  a  Sardin- 


ian.' 


But  passing  over  further  details  of  the  various  efforts  of  European 
nations  to  overturn  the  system  of  White  Slavery,  and  also  of  its  un- 
happy victims  to  escape  from  it,  I  descend  at  once  to  the  period 
when  our  owrn  government,  justly  careful  of  the  liberty  of  its  white 
citizens,  was  called  upon  to  exert  all  its  powers  in  their  behalf. 
The  war  of  the  Revolution  closed  in  1783,  by  the  acknowledgment 
of  the  independence  of  the  United  States.  Our  new  national  flag 
was  but  freshly  unfurled,  when  the  Barbary  States  commenced  prey- 
ing upon  our  commerce. f  Within  three  years,  no  less  than  ten  ves- 

*  V.,!.  xix.  i>.  in;. 

t  SparWs  Works  of  Franklin,  Vol.  IX.'  pp.  506,  507,  where  the  Algerines  are 

railed  "•  liiimim  h;irpies." 


31 

sels  were  seized  by  Algerine  corsairs.  The  property  of  our  mer- 
chants was  sacrificed  or  endangered.  Insurance  at  Lloyd's,  in  Lon- 
don, could  be  had  only  at  advanced  prices  ;  while  it  was  difficult  to 
obtain  freight  for  American  bottoms.*  The  Mediterranean  trade 
seemed  closed  to  our  enterprise.  To  a  people  filled  with  the  spirit 
of  commerce,  and  bursting  with  new  life,  this  was  in  itself  disheart- 
ening ;  but  the  sufferings  of  the  poor  sailors,  captives  in  a  distant 
land,  aroused  a  feeling  of  a  higher  strain. 

It  is  not  easy  to  comprehend  the  exact  character  of -the  condition 
to  which  they  were  reduced.  There  is  no  reason  to  believe  that  it 
differed  materially  from  that  of  the  other  Christian  captives  in  Al- 
giers. It  is  said,  that  the  masters  of  vessels  were  lodged  together, 
and  had  a  table  by  themselves,  though  a  small  iron  ring  was  attached 
to  one  of  their  legs,  to  denote  that  they  were  slaves.  The  seamen 
were  taught  and  obliged  to  work  at  the  trades  of  carpenter,  black- 
smith, and  stone-mason,  from  six  o'clock  in  the  morning  till  four 
o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  without  intermission,  except  for  half  an 
hour  at  dinner. f  Some  of  the  details  of  their  mode  of  life,  which 
have  been  transmitted  to  us,  are  doubtless  exaggerated.  It  is  suffi- 
cient, however,  to  know  that  they  were  slaves  ;  nor  is  there  any 
condition,  the  bare  mention  of  which,  without  one  word  of  descrip- 
tion, is  so  strongly  calculated  to  awaken  the  sympathies  of  every  just 
and  enlightened  lover  of  his  race. 

Informal  agencies  were  established  at  an  early  period,  under  the 
direction  of  our  ministers  at  Paris,  with  a  view  to  secure  their  free- 
dom ;  and  it  appears  that  the  Society  of  Redemption  —  whose  be- 
neficent exertions,  commencing  so  early  in  modern  history,  were  still 
continued  —  offered  their  aid  in  this  behalf.  Our  agents  were 
blandly  entertained  by  that  great  slave-dealer,  the  Dey  of  Algiers, 
who  informed  them  that  he  was  well  acquainted  with  the  exploits  of 
Washington,  and,  never  expecting  to  see  him,  expressed  a  hope, 
that,  through  Congress,  he  might  receive  a  full-length  portrait  of  that 
hero  of  freedom,  to  be  hung  in  his  palace  at  Algiers.  He,  how- 
ever, still  clung  to  his  American  slaves,  holding  them  at  prices  be- 
yond the  means  of  the  agents.  These  prices,  in  1786,  were  $6,000 
for  a  master  of  a  vessel,  $4,000  for  a  mate,  $4,000  for  a  passenger, 

*  Boston  Independent  Chronicle,  April  28,  1785,  Vol.  XVII.  No.  866 ;  May  12, 
1785,  No.  868;  Oct.  20,  1785,  No.  886;  Nov.  3, 1785,  No.  888;  Nov.  17,  1785,  No. 
890;  March  2,  1786,  Vol.  XVIII.  No.  908;  April  27,  1786,  No.  918. 

t  History  of  the  War  between  the  United  States  and  Tripoli,  p.  52. 


32 

and  $  1,400  for  a  seaman  ;  whereas  the  agent  was  authorized  to  offer 
only  $200  for  each  captive.*  In  1790,  the  tariff  of  prices  seems 
to  have  fallen.  Meanwhile,  one  had  obtained  his  freedom  through 
private  means,  some  had  escaped,  and  several  had  been  liberated  by 
death.  The  following  list  will  furnish  an  idea  of  the  sums  de- 
manded, and  also  the  names  of  some  of  the  captives  :  f  - 

Crew  of  the  Ship  Dolphin,  of  Philadelphia,  captured  July  3Qlh,  1785. 

Sequins. 

Richard    O'Brien,    master,    price  demanded,  2,000 

Andrew  Montgomery,  mate,  1,500 

Jacob  Tessanier,  French  passenger,  2,000 

William  Patterson,  seaman  (keeps  a  tavern),  1,500 

Philip  Sloan,  725 

Peleg  Loring,             "  725 

John  Robertson,         "  725 

James  Hall,                "  725 

Crew  of  the  Schooner  Maria,  of  Boston,  captured  July  25/7;,   1785. 

Isaac  Stevens,  master  (of  Concord,  Mass.),  2,000 

Alexander  Forsythe,  mate,  1,500 

James  Cathcart,  seaman  (keeps  a  tavern),  1)00 

George  Smith,        "         (in  the  Dey's  house),  725 

John  Gregory,         "  725 

James  Hermit,        "  725 


16,475 

Duty  on  the  above  sum,  ten  per  cent.,  1,6474- 

Sundry  gratifications  to  officers  of  the  Dcy's  household,        240^ 


Sequins    18,362f 
This  sum  being  equal  to  8  34,792. 

As  the  tidings  reached  America  from  time  to  time  of  the  seizure 
of  our  vessels,  and  of  the  dismal  fate  of  our  while  fellow-citizens,  a 
voice  of  indignation  swelled  through  the  land  against  what  were  call- 
ed "the  infernal  crews  of  Algerine  corsairs. "  J  This  acquired 

Ionian's  Diplomacy,    Vol.  II.  p.   ::.".::. 
'    Ilii.l..  p.  :r>?  ;    Ili-tnry  of  the  War  with  Tripoli,  p.  (il. 

Boston  [ndependent  Chronicle,  May  18,  1786,  Vol.  \\lli.  .\o.  !HG.      It  seems 
that  at   one  time  there  was  an    apprehension    that   Dr.    Franklin   had    lieeii    captured. 

"  \\  e  are  \\aitin-, "  says  one  of  hi-   I'rein-h  corresp lenls,  "with    the  greatest  im- 

patience  to  hear   fn.ni   you.     The  ne\\ -papers   liave   given    us  anxiety  on  your  ac- 


33 

new  force,  when,  by  the  fortunate  escape  of  several  captives,  at 
two  different  periods,  what  seemed  to  be  an  authentic  picture  of 
their  condition  was  presented  to  the  world.  It  will  be  proper  to 
give  briefly  the  story  of  these  fugitives,  at  once  to  show  the  hard- 
ships of  their  lot,  and  the  foundation  of  the  appeal  to  the  country 
which  was  made  with  so  much  effect. 

The  earliest  of  these  escapes  was  in  1788,  by  one  of  our  country- 
men who   had  been  taken  in  a  vessel  belonging  to  Boston.     After 
his   arrival   at  Algiers,  he   was,  with  the  rest  of  the  ship's   compa- 
ny, exposed  for  sale  at   public   auction,  whence  he  was  sent  to  the 
country-house   of  his   master,   about  two  miles    from  town.      Here 
he  was  chained  to  the  wheelbarrow,  and  kept  on  one  pound  of  bread 
a   day,   for  the   space  of  eighteen  months,  during   which  unhappy 
period  he  had  no  opportunity  of  learning  the  fate  of  his  companions. 
On  the  10th  of  December,  1787,  he  and  another  white  slave  were 
removed  to  a  jail  in  Algiers,  where,  in  a  gang  of  four  hundred  white 
slaves,  he  encountered  three  of  his  shipmates,  and  twenty-six   other 
Americans.     After  remaining  for  some  time  crowded  together  in  the 
slave-prison,  they  were  all  distributed  on  board  the  different  galleys 
in   the   service   of  the  Dey.     Our  countryman  and  eighteen  other 
white  slaves  were  put  on  board   a  xebec,  which  carried  eight   six- 
pounders  and  sixty  men.     On  the  coast  of  Malta  they  were  attacked 
by  an  armed  vessel  belonging  to   Genoa,  which,  after  much  blood- 
shed, took  them,  sword  in  hand.     Eleven  of  the  unfortunate  slaves, 
compelled  to  this  unwelcome  service  in  the   cause   of  a   tyrannical 
master,  were  killed  in  the  contest,  before  the  triumph  of  the  Genoese 
could   deliver   them   from  their   chains.      Our  countryman   and   the 
few  still  alive   were  at  once  set  at  liberty,  and,  it  is  said,   "treated 
with  that  humanity  which  distinguishes  the  Christian  from   the  bar- 
barian."* 

His  escape  was  followed  the  next  year  by  that  of  several  others, 
achieved  under  circumstances  widely  different.  They  had  entered, 
about  five  years  before,  on  board  a  vessel  belonging  to  Philadelphia, 

count;  for  some  of  them  insist  that  you  have  been  taken  by  the  Algerines,  while 
others  pretend  that  you  are  at  Morocco,  enduring  your  slavery  with  all  the  patience 
of  a  philosopher.  These  reports,  luckily,  have  not  been  confirmed."  -  M.  Le  Veil- 
lard  to  Dr.  Franklin,  Passy,  Oct.  9th,  1765,  Sparks's  Works  of  Franklin,  Vol.  X. 
p.  230. 

*  Boston  Independent  Chronicle,  Oct.  16,  1778,  Vol.  XX.  No.  1042;  History  of 
the  War  with  Tripoli,  p.  59. 

5 


34 

which  was  captured  near  the  Western  Islands,  and  carried  into  Al- 
giers. The  crew,  consisting  of  twenty  persons,  were  doomed  to 
bondage.  Several  were  sent  into  the  country  and  chained  to  work 
with  the  mules.  Others  were  put  on  board  a  galley  and  chained  to 
the  oars.  The  latter,  tempted,  perhaps,  by  the  facilities  of  their  po- 
sition near  the  sea,  made  several  attempts  to  escape,  which,  how- 
ever, for  some  time  proved  fruitless.  But  their  love  of  freedom 
triumphed  over  the  suggestions  of  humanity.  They  rose  at  last 
upon  their  overseers,  some  of  whom  they  killed,  and  confined 
others,  and  then,  seizing  a  small  galley  near  their  own,  set  sail  for 
Gibraltar,  where  in  a  few  hours  they  landed  as  freemen.  It  was 
thus  that  these  fugitive  slaves  achieved  their  liberty  by  killing  their 
keepers  and  carrying  off  their  property.* 

Such  stories  could  not  be  recounted  without  producing  a  strong 
effect.  The  glimpses  which  were  thus  opened  into  the  dread  regions 
of  slavery  gave  a  harrowing  reality  to  all  that  conjecture  or  imagi- 
nation had  pictured.  It  was,  indeed,  true,  that  our  own  white  breth- 
ren, heirs  to  the  freedom  newly  purchased  by  precious  blood, 
partakers  in  the  sovereignty  of  citizenship,  belonging  to  the  fel- 
lowship of  the  Christian  church,  were  degraded  in  unquestioning 
obedience  to  an  arbitrary  taskmaster,  sold  as  beasts  of  the  field, 
and  galled  by  the  manacle  and  the  lash  !  It  was  true  that  they 
were  held  at  specified  prices,  and  that  their  only  chance  of  free- 
dom was  to  be  found  in  earnest,  energetic  efforts  of  their  country- 
men in  their  behalf.  It  appears  that  in  1793  there  were  one  hun- 
dred and  fifteen  American  captives  in  Algiers. f  Their  condition 
excited  the  fraternal  feelings  of  the  whole  people,  while  it  occupied 
the  anxious  attention  of  Congress  and  the  prayers  of  the  clergy.  A 
petition  from  these  unhappy  persons,  dated  at  Algiers,  December 
29th,  1793,  was  addressed  to  the  House  of  Representatives.:): 
"Your  petitioners,"  it  says,  "are  at  present  captives  in  this  city  of 
bondage,  employed  daily  in  the  most  laborious  work,  without  any 
respect  to  persons.  They  pray  that  you  will  take  their  unfortunate 
situation  into  consideration,  and  adopt  such  measures  as  will  restore 
the  American  captives  to  their  country,  their  friends,  families,  and 
connections  ;  and  your  petitioners  will  ever  pray  and  be  thankful." 

•    lli-l.uy  ui'ilir  \\':ir  \vitli  Tripoli,  p.  62. 
t  LyiiKin  s  l)ipluin;irv,  Vol.  II.  p.  351). 

II. 1,1   .  p    : II ill 


35 

But  the  action  of  Congress  was   sluggish,  compared  with  the  swift 
desires  of  the  friends  of  the  captives. 

Appeals  of  a  different  character,  addressed  to  the  country  at 
large,  were  now  commenced.  Colonel  Humphreys,  the  friend  and 
companion  of  Washington,  and  our  minister  at  Portugal,  most  effi- 
ciently aided  these,  by  a  letter  to  the  American  people,  which  ap- 
peared in  the  newspapers  of  the  time,  dated  Lisbon,  July  Hth, 
1794.  He  suggested  a  grand  lottery,*  sanctioned  by  the  United 
States,  or  particular  lotteries  in  the  individual  States,  in  order  to  obtain 
the  money  required  to  purchase  the  freedom  of  our  countrymen.  He 
then  says, —  "I  ask,  is  there  within  the  limits  of  these  United  States 
an  individual  who  will  not  cheerfully  contribute  in  proportion  to  his 
means,  to  carry  it  into  effect  ?  By  the  peculiar  blessings  of  free- 
dom which  you  enjoy,  by  the  disinterested  sacrifices  you  made  for 
its  attainment,  by  the  patriotic  blood  of  those  martyrs  of  liberty  who 
died  to  secure  your  independence,  and  by  all  the  tender  ties  of  na- 
ture, let  me  conjure  you  once  more  to  snatch  your  unfortunate 
countrymen  from  fetters,  dungeons,  and  death." 

This  was  followed  shortly  after  by  a  petition  from  the  American 
captives  in  Algiers,  addressed  to  the  ministers  of  the  gospel  of  every 
denomination  throughout  the  United  States,  praying  their  influence 
to  help  in  the  sacred  cause  of  Emancipation.  The  cause  in  which 
it  was  written  will  indispose  the  reader  to  any  criticism  of  its  some- 
what exuberant  language.  It  begins  by  an  allusion  to  the  day  of  na- 
tional thanksgiving  which  had  been  appointed  by  President  Wash- 
ington, and  proceeds  to  ask  the  clergy  to  set  apart  the  Sunday 
preceding  that  day  for  sermons,  to  be  delivered  contemporaneously 
throughout  the  country,  in  behalf  of  their  brethren  in  bonds. f 

"  Reverend  and  Respected,  — 

"  On  Thursday,  the  19th  of  February,  1795,  you  are  enjoined  by  the 
president  of  the  United  States  of  America  to  appear  in  the  various  tem- 
ples of  that  God  who  heareth  the  groaning  of  the  prisoner,  and  in  mercy 
remembereth  those  who  are  appointed  to  die. 

"  Nor  are  ye  to  assemble  alone ;  for  on  this,  the  high  day  of  continen- 
tal thanksgiving,  all  the  religious  societies  and  denominations  throughout 
the  Union,  and  all  persons  whomsoever  within  the  limits  of  the  confeder- 

*  It  should  be  observed,  that  at  this  time  it  was  customary  to  resort  to  lotteries  as 
a  mode  of  raising  money  for  literary  or  benevolent  purposes.  There  were  lotteries 
for  the  benefit  of  Harvard  College. 

t  History  of  the  War  with  Tripoli,  pp.  60-71. 


ated  States,  are  to  enter  the  courts  of  Jehovah,  with  their  several  pastors, 
and  gratefully  to  render  unfeigned  thanks  to  the  Ruler  of  nations  for  the 
manifold  and  signal  mercies  which  distinguish  your  lot  as  a  people  ;  — in 
a  more  particular  manner,  commemorating  your  exemption  from  foreign 
war ;  being  greatly  thankful  for  the  preservation  of  peace  at  home  and 
abroad  ;  and  fervently  beseeching  the  kind  Author  of  all  these  blessings 
graciously  to  prolong  them  to  you,  and  finally  to  render  the  United  States 
of  America  more  and  more  an  asylum  for  the  unfortunate  of  every  clime 
under  heaven. 

"  Reverend  and  Respected,  — 

"  Most  fervent  are  our  daily  prayers,  breathed  in  the  sincerity  of  woes 
unspeakable;  most  ardent  are  the  embittered  aspirations  of  our  afflicted 
spirits,  that  thus  it  may  be  in  deed  and  in  truth.  Although  we  are  pris- 
oners in  a  foreign  land,  although  we  are  far,  very  far  from  our  native 
homes,  although  our  harps  are  hung  upon  the  weeping  willows  of  slavery, 
nevertheless  America  is  still  preferred  above  our  chiefest  joy,  and  the 
last  wish  of  our  departing  souls  shall  be  her  peace,  her  prosperity,  her 
liberty  for  ever.  On  this  day,  the  day  of  festivity  and  gladness,  remem- 
ber us,  your  unfortunate  brethren,  late  members  of  the  family  of  free- 
dom, now  doomed  to  perpetual  confinement.  Pray,  earnestly  pray,  that 
our  grievous  calamities  may  have  a  gracious  end.  Supplicate  the  Father 
of  mercies  for  the  most  wretched  of  his  offspring.  Beseech  the  God  of 
all  consolation  to  comfort  us  by  the  hope  of  fnal  restoration.  Implore 
the  Jesus  whom  you  worship  to  open  the  house  of  the  prison.  Entreat 
the  Christ  whom  you  adore  to  let  the  miserable  captives  go  free. 

"  Reverend  and  Respected,  — 

"  It  is  not  your  prayers  alone,  although  of  much  avail,  which  we  beg 
on  the  bending  knee  of  sufferance,  galled  by  the  corroding  fetters  of  slav- 
ery. We  conjure  you  by  the  bowels  of  the  mercies  of  the  Almighty,  we 
ask  you  in  the  name  of  your  Father  in  Heaven,  to  have  compassion  on 
our  miseries,  to  wipe  away  the  crystallized  tears  of  despondence,  to 
hush  the  heartfelt  sigh  of  distress ;  and  by  every  possible  exertion  of 
godlike  charity,  to  restore  us  to  our  wives,  to  our  children,  to  our 
I'rit'/ids,  to  our  God  and  to  yours. 

"  Is  it  possible  that  a  stimulus  can  be  wanting?  Forbid  it,  the  exam- 
ple of  a  dying,  bleeding,  crucified  Saviour!  Forbid  it,  the  precepts  of  a 
risen,  ascended,  glorified  Immanuel  !  Do  unto  us  in  fetters,  in  bonds, 
in  dungeons,  in  dnn^cr  of  the  pestilence,  as  ye  yourselves  would  wish  to 
be  done  unto.  Lift  uji  your  voices  likr  a  trumpet  ;  cry  aloud  in  the 
cause  of  humanity,  benevolence )  philosophy  ;  r/oi/nence  can  never  be  di- 
rected to  a  nof'/'i-  jnirpose ;  religion  nenr  i  i/ij>loycd  in  a  more  glorious 


37 

cause  ;  charity  never  meditate  a  more  exalted  flight.  O  that  a  live  coal 
from  the  burning  altar  of  celestial  beneficence  might  warm  the  hearts  of 
the  sacred  order,  and  impassion  the  feelings  of  the  attentive  hearer  ! 

Gentlemen  of  the  Clergy  in  New  Hampshire,  Rhode  Island,  Massachu- 
setts, New  York,  Pennsylvania,  and  Virginia,  — 
"  Your  most  zealous  exertions,  your  unremitting  assiduities,  are  pa- 
thetically invoked.  Those  States  in  which  you  minister  unto  the  Church 
of  God  gave  us  birth.  We  are  as  aliens  from  the  commonwealth  of 
America.  We  are  strangers  to  the  temples  of  our  God.  The  strong 
arm  of  infidelity  hath  bound  us  with  two  chains ;  the  iron  one  of  slavery 
and  the  sword  of  death  are  entering  our  very  souls.  Arise,  ye  ministers 
of  the  Most  High,  Cliristians  of  every  denomination,  awake  unto  charity  ! 
Let  a  brief  \  setting  forth  our  hapless  situation,  be  published  throughout 
the  continent.  Be  it  read  in  every  house  of  worship,  on  Sunday,  the 
&th  of  February.  Command  a  preparatory  discourse  to  be  delivered  on 
Sunday,  the  15th  of  February,  in  all  churches  whithersoever  this  pe- 
tition or  the  brief  may  come;  and  on  Thursday,  the  19th  of  February, 
complete  the  godlike  work.  It  is  a  day  which  assembles  a  continent  to 
thanksgiving.  It  is  a  day  which  calls  an  empire  to  praise.  God  grant 
that  this  may  be  the  day  which  emancipates  the  forlorn  captive,  and  may 
the  best  blessings  of  those  who  are  ready  to  perish  be  your  abiding  por- 
tion for  ever  !  Thus  prays  a  small  remnant  who  are  still  alive  ;  thus  pray 
your  fellow-citizens,  chained  to  the  galleys  of  the  impostor  Mahomet. 
"  Signed  for  and  in  behalf  of  his  fellow-sufferers,  by 

"RICHARD  O'BRIEN, 
"  In  the  tenth  year  of  his  captivity." 

Not  long  after  this  address  there  appeared   in  New   Hampshire 
a  publication,  entitled,  "  Tyrannical  Libertymen,  a  Discourse  upon 

Negro  Slavery  in  the  United   States,  composed   at  in  New 

Hampshire,  on  the  late  Federal  Thanksgiving  Day,"*  which, 
while  advocating  the  cause  of  the  unhappy  black  slaves  in  the  United 
States,  refers  pointedly  to  the  condition  of  our  unfortunate  white 
fellow-countrymen  in  bonds.  "  There  was  a  contribution  upon  this 
day,"  it  says,  "  for  the  purpose  of  redeeming  those  Americans  who 
are  in  slavery  at  Algiers,  —  an  object  worthy  of  a  generous  peo- 
ple. Their  redemption,  we  hope,  is  not  far  distant.  But  should 
any  person  contribute  money  for  this  purpose,  which  he  had  cudg- 
elled out  of  a  negro  slave,  he  would  deserve  less  applause  than  an 
actor  in  the  comedy  of  Las  Casas When  will  Ameri- 

*  From  the  Eagle  Office,  Hanover,  New  Hampshire,  1795. 


38 

cans  show  that  they  are  what  they  affect  to  be  thought,  —  friends 
to  the  cause  of  humanity  at  large,  reverers  of  the  rights  of  their 
fellow-creatures  ?  Hitherto  we  have  been  oppressors  ;  nay,  mur- 
derers !  for  many  a  negro  has  died  by  the  whip  of  his  master, 
and  many  have  lived  when  death  would  have  been  preferable. 
Surely,  the  curse  of  God  and  the  reproach  of  man  is  against  us. 
Worse  than  the  seven  plagues  of  Egypt  will  befall  us.  If  Al- 
giers shall  be  punished  sevenfold,  truly  America  seventy  and  seven- 
fold." 

The  excitement  of  this  discussion  called  forth  a  work  of  some 
note,  entitled,  "  The  Algerine  Captive,"  which  was  one  of  the 
earliest  productions  of  our  country  reprinted  in  London,  at  a  time 
\\hen  few  American  books  were  read  there.  It  was  published 
anonymously,  but  is  known  to  have  been  written  by  a  gentleman 
afterwards  Chief  Justice  of  Vermont,  Royall  Tyler.  In  the  form 
of  a  narrative  of  personal  adventures,  extending  through  two  vol- 
umes, as  a  slave  in  Algiers,  the  author  depicts  the  horrors  of  this 
condition.  In  this  regard  it  is  not  unlike  a  work  entitled  "  Archy 
Moore,"  of  our  own  day,  wherein  are  displayed  the  horrors  of  Amer- 
ican slavery.  The  author  is  taken  captive  by  the  Algerines  while 
engaged  as  surgeon  on  board  a  ship  employed  in  the  African  slave- 
trade.  After  describing  the  reception  of  the  poor  negroes,  he  says : 
-"I  cannot  reflect  on  this  transaction  yet,  without  shuddering.  I 
have  deplored  rny  conduct  with  tears  of  anguish  ;  and  I  pray  a  mer- 
ciful Cod,  the  common  Parent  of  the  great  family  of  the  universe, 
who  hath  made  of  one  flesh  and  one  blood  all  nations  of  the  earth, 
that  the  miseries,  the  insults,  and  cruel  woundings  I  afterwards  re- 
ceived, when  a  slave  myself,  may  expiate  for  the  inhumanity  I  was 
necessitated  to  exercise  towards  these  my  brethren  of  the  human 
race."  (Chap.  30.)  And  when  he  is  at  length  made  captive  him- 
self by  the  Algerines,  he  records  his  meditations  and  resolves. 
"  Grant  me,"  he  says,  from  the  depths  of  his  own  misfortune, 
"  once  more  to  taste  the  freedom  of  my  native  country,  and  every 
moment  of  my  life  shall  be  dedicated  to  preaching  against  this  de- 
testable commerce.  I  will  fly  to  our  fellow-citizens  in  the  Southern 
States  ;  I  will,  on  my  knees,  conjure  them,  in  the  name  of  humani- 
ty, to  abolish  a  traffic  which  causes  it  to  bleed  in  every  pore.  If 
they  are  deaf  to  the  pleadings  of  nature,  I  will  conjure  them,  for  the 
sake  of  consistency,  to  cease  to  deprive  their  fellow-creatures  of 
freedom,  which  their  writers,  their  orators,  representatives,  senators, 


39 

and  even  their  constitutions  of  government,  have  declared  to  be  the 
unalienable  birthright  of  man."    (Chap.  32.)* 

*  The  comparison  between  Algerine  and  American  slavery  seems  to  have  been 
not  uncommon  at  this  time.  Dr.  Franklin's  ingenious  apologue  presents  it  in  a 
strong  light.  As  president  of  the  Abolition  Society  of  Pennsylvania,  he  had  signed 
a  memorial,  which  was  presented  to  the  House  of  Representatives  of  the  United 
States,  February  12th,  178(J,  praying  them  "  to  go  to  the  very  verge  of  the  power 
vested  in  them  to  discourage  every  species  of  traffic  in  our  fellow-men."  This  was 
his  last  public  act.  In  the  debates  to  which  this  gave  rise,  several  attempts  were 
made  to  justify  slavery  and  the  slave-trade.  The  last  and  almost  dying  energies  of 
Franklin  were  excited.  He  published  in  one  of  the  papers  at  the  time  an  essay,  pur- 
porting to  contain  a  speech  delivered  in  the  Divan  of  Algiers  in  1687,  in  opposition 
to  the  prayer  of  the  petition  of  a  sect,  called  Erika,  or  Purists,  or  Abolitionists,  for 
the  abolition  of  piracy  and  slavery.  This  pretended  Algerine  speech  was  a  parody 
of  one  delivered  by  Mr.  Jackson  of  Georgia.  All  the  arguments  adduced  in  fa- 
vor of  negro  slavery  are  applied  with  equal  force  to  justify  the  plundering  and  en- 
slaving of  whites.  This  remarkable  paper  is  dated  only  twenty-four  days  before 
the  author's  death.  —  Sparks's  Franklin,  Vol.  II.  p.  517. 

The  address  from  the  same  Abolition  Society  to  the  Convention  which  framed  the 
Federal  Constitution,  in  1767,  contains  the  same  parallel.  "  Providence,"  it  says, 
"  seems  to  have  ordained  the  sufferings  of  our  American  brethren,  groaning  in  cap- 
tivity at  Algiers,  to  awaken  us  to  a  sentiment  of  the  injustice  and  cruelty  of  which 
we  are  guilty  towards  the  wretched  Africans."-  -  Brissot's  Travels,  Vol.  I.  Letter  22. 
On  still  another  important  occasion  the  same  parallel  was  recognized.  It  seems 
that  complaint  was  made  against  England  of  carrying  away  from  New  York  certain 
negroes,  in  alleged  violation  of  the  treaty  of  1783.  In  discussing  this  matter  in  an 
elaborate  paper  preserved  in  the  Secret  Journals  of  Congress,  John  Jay,  Secretary  for 
Foreign  Affairs  under  the  Confederation,  says:  —  "  Whether  men  can  be  so  degrad- 
ed as  under  any  circumstances  to  be  with  propriety  denominated  goods  and  chattels, 
and  under  that  idea  capable  of  becoming  booty,  is  a  question  on  which  opinions  are 
unfortunately  various,  even  in  countries  professing  Christianity  and  respect  for  the 
rights  of  mankind."  He  then  says  :  —  "  If  a  war  should  take  place  between  France 
and  Algiers,  and  in  the  course  of  it  France  should  invite  the  American  slaves  there 
to  run  away  from  their  masters,  and  actually  receive  and  protect  them  in  their  camp, 
what  would  Congress,  and  indeed  the  world,  think  and  say  of  France,  if,  in  making 
peace  with  Algiers,  she  should  give  up  those  American  slaves  to  their  former  Al- 
gerine masters  ?  Is  there  any  difference  leticeen  the  two  cases  titan  this,  viz.,  that  the 
American  slaves  at  Algiers  are  WHITE  people,  icliercas  the  African  slaves  at  New 
York  were  BLACK  people?"  In  introducing  these  remarks,  the  Secretary  says,  "  he  is 
aware  he  is  about  to  say  unpopular  things  ;  but  higher  motives  than  personal  con- 
siderations press  him  to  proceed."  —  Secret  Journals  of  Congress,  1786,  Vol.  IV. 
pp.  274-280. 

And  still  another  writer,  in  1794,  when  the  sympathy  with  the  American  captives 
was  at  its  heigh-t,  presses  the  parallel  in  pungent  terms :  —  "  For  this  practice  of 
buying  and  selling  slaves,"  he  says,  "  we  are  not  entitled  to  charge  the  Algerines 
with  any  exclusive  degree  of  barbarity.  The  Christians  of  Europe  and  America 
i.-arry  on  this  commerce  one  hundred  times  more  extensively  than  the  Algerines.  It 
has  received  a  recent  sanction  from  the  immaculate  Divan  of  Britain.  Nobody 
seems  even  to  be  surprised  by  a  diabolical  kind  of  advertisements,  which,  for  some 


40 

The  country  was  now  aroused.  A  general  contribution  was  pro- 
posed for  the  emancipation  of  our  brethren.  Their  cause  was 
pleaded  in  churches,  and  not  forgotten  at  the  festive  board.  At  all 
public  celebrations,  the  toasts,  "  Happiness  for  all,"  and  "  Uni- 
versal liberty,"  were  proposed,  not  less  in  sympathy  with  the  ef- 
forts for  freedom  in  France,  than  with  those  for  our  own  wretched 
white  fellow-countrymen  in  bonds.  On  at  least  one  occasion,*  they 
were  distinctly  remembered  in  the  following  toast  :  —  "  Our  brethren 
in  slavery  at  Algiers.  May  the  measures  adopted  for  their  redemp- 
tion be  successful,  and  may  they  live  to  rejoice  with  their  friends  in 
the  blessings  of  liberty." 

Meanwhile,  the  earnest  efforts  of  our  government  had  been  con- 
tinued. In  his  message  to  Congress,  bearing  date  December  8th, 
1795,  President  Washington  had  said  :  --"  With  peculiar  satisfac- 
tion I  add,  that  information  has  been  received  from  an  agent  deputed 
on  our  part  to  Algiers,  importing  that  the  terms  of  a  treaty  with  the 
Dey  and  regency  of  that  country  have  been  adjusted  in  such  a  man- 
ner as  to  authorize  the  expectation  of  a  speedy  peace,  and  the  resto- 
ration of  our  unfortunate  fellow-citizens  from  a  grievous  captivity." 
This,  indeed,  had  already  been  effected,  on  the  5th  of  September, 
1795. f  It  was  a  treaty  full  of  humiliation  for  the  din-ulry  of  our 
country,  inasmuch  as  it  stipulated  for  an  annual  tribute  of  twenty-one 
thousand  dollars  to  the  Algerine  government,  while  it  exacted  a  large 
sum  in  consideration  of  present  peace  and  the  liberation  of  the  cap- 
tives. But  feelings  of  pride  disappeared  in  heartfelt  satisfaction  at 
their  freedom.  It  is  recorded,  that  a  thrill  of  joy  went  through  the 
land  when  it  was  announced  that  a  vessel  had  left  Algiers  having  on 
board  all  the  Americans  who  bad  been  in  captivity  there.  Their 


month-  pa-t,  have  frfmientl  v  adorned  tin1  newspapers  of  Philadelphia.  The  French 
fugitives  from  the  West  Indies  have  brought  with  them  a  crowd  of  slaves.  These 
most  injured  people  sometimes  run  oil',  and  their  master  advertises  a  reward  for  ap- 
prehending  them.  At  the  same  time,  we  are  commonly  informed  that  his  sacred 
name  i<  mar  kid  in  capitals  on  their  breasts ;  or,  in  plainer  terms,  it  is  stamped  on  that 
part  "f  the  lindy  with  a  red-hot  iron.  Before,  therefore,  we  reprobate  the  ferocity  of 
the  AL'erine-,  \ve  should  inquire  whether  it  is  not  po»ilde  t<>  find  in  some  other  re- 
gion of  this  jrlolie  a  systematic  brutality  still  mure  disgraceful."  —  Short  Account  of 
Algiers  (Philadelphia,  ITHf.,  p.  I- 

*  At  Portsmouth,  N.  II.,  at  a  public  H  >ti\e  entertainment,  April  3d,  1795,  in  honor 
of  French  successes.     Boston  Independent  Chronicle,  Vol.  XXVII.  No.  1469. 

t  United    States  Statutes  at  Large  (Little  and  Brown's  edit.),  Treaties,   Vol.  VIII. 
p.  133;  Lyman's  Diplomacy,  Vol.  II.  p.  362. 


41 

emancipation  was  purchased  at  the  cost  of  upwards  of  seven  hundred 
thousand  dollars.  But  the  money,  and  even  the  indignity  of  tribute, 
were  forgotten  in  gratulations  on  their  new-found  happiness  ;  while 
the  President,  in  a  message  to  Congress,*  presented  their  "  actual 
liberation"  as  a  special  subject  of  joy  "to  every  feeling  heart." 
Thus  did  our  government  construct  a  Bridge  of  Gold  for  freedom. 

This  act  of  national  generosity  was  followed  by  peace  with  Trip- 
oli, which  was  purchased,  November  4th,  1796,  for  the  sum  of  fifty 
thousand  dollars,  under  the  guaranty  of  the  Dey  of  Algiers,  who 
was  declared  to  be  "the  mutual  friend  of  the  parties"  ;  while,  by 
an  article  in  the  treaty,  negotiated  by  Joel  Barlow, --out  of  tender- 
ness, perhaps,  to  Mahometanism,  and  to  save  our  citizens  from  the 
slavery  which  was  regarded  as  the  just  doom  of  "Christian  dogs," 
-it  was  expressly  declared  that  "the  government  of  the  United 
States  of  America  is  not  in  any  sense  founded  on  the  Christian  reli- 
gion."! ^  a  later  day,  all  danger  to  our  citizens  seemed  to  be 
averted  by  a  treaty  with  Tunis,  which  was  purchased  after  some  de- 
lay, but  at  a  smaller  price  than  that  with  Tripoli.  In  this  treaty  it 
was  igriominiously  provided,  that  fugitive  slaves,  taking  refuge  on 
board  American  merchant-vessels,  and  even  vessels  of  war,  should 
be  restored  to  their  owners.! 

As  early  as  1787,  a  treaty  of  a  more  liberal  character  had  been 
entered  into  with  Morocco,  which  was  confirmed  in  1795, §  at  the 
price  of  twenty  thousand  dollars  ;  while,  by  a  treaty  with  Spain,  in 
1799,  this  slave-trading  empire  expressly  declared  its  desire  that  the 
name  of  slavery  might  be  effaced  from  the  memory  of  man.\\ 

But  these  governments  were  barbarous,  faithless,  and  regardless  of 
the  duties  of  humanity  and  justice.  Treaties  with  them  were  evanes- 
cent. As  in  the  days  of  Charles  the  Second,  they  seemed  made  mere- 
ly to  be  broken.  They  were  observed  only  so  long  as  money  was 
derived  under  their  stipulations.  The  Barbary  corsairs  did  not  leave 
the  American  commerce  fora  long  time  unvexed,  while  even  the  ships 

*  December  7th,  1796. 

f  Article  11  ;  Lyman's  Diplomacy,  Vol.  II.  pp.  380,  381  ;  United  States  Statutes  at 
Large,  Vol.  VIII.  p.  154. 

t  Article  6  ;  United  States  Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  VIII.  p.  157.  This  treaty  has 
two  dates,  August,  17117,  and  March,  179'J.  William  Eaton  and  James  Leander  Cath- 
cart  were  the  agents  of  the  United  States  at  the  latter  date. 

§  Lyman's  Diplomacy,  Vol.  II.  p.  350  ;  United  States  Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  VIII. 
p.  100. 

||  History  of  the  War  with  Tripoli,  p.  80. 

6 


42 

of  our  navy  were  subject  to  peculiar  indignities.  In  1801,  the 
Bey  of  Tripoli  formally  declared  war  against  the  United  States,  and 
in  token  thereof  "  our  flag-staff  [before  the  consulate]  was  chopped 
down  six  feet  from  the  ground,  and  left  reclining  on  the  terrace."  * 
Our  ships  and  sailors  once  more  became  the  prey  of  man-stealers. 
Colonel  Humphreys  was  again  aroused.  In  an  address  to  the  pub- 
lic, he  said,  f  —  "Americans  of  the  United  States,  your  fellow- 
citizens  are  in  fetters  !  Can  there  be  but  one  feeling  ?  Where  are 
the  gallant  remains  of  the  race  who  fought  for  freedom  ?  Where  the 
glorious  heirs  of  their  patriotism  ?  Will  there  never  be  a  truce  be- 
tween political  parties  9  Or  must  it  for  ever  be  the  fate  of  FREE 
STATES,  that  the  soft  voice  of  union  should  be  drowned  in  the  hoarse 
clamor  of  discord  ?  No  !  Let  every  friend  of  blessed  humanity 
and  sacred  freedom  entertain  a  better  hope  and  confidence."  The 
people  and  government  responded  to  this  voice.  And  here  com- 
menced those  early  efforts  of  our  navy  by  which  it  became  known 
in  Europe.  By  a  daring  act,  Decatur  burnt  the  frigate  Philadel- 
phia, which,  through  a  reverse  of  shipwreck  rather  than  war,  had 

*  Lyman's  Diplomacy,  Vol.  II.  p.  384. 

t  Miscellaneous  Works  of  David  Humphreys,  p.  "5.  lie  also  appealed  to  his 
country  in  a  poem  (Ibid.,  pp.  52,53),  which  contains  an  indignant  condemnation  of 
s!:i\  cry. 

"  Teach  me  curst  slavery's  cruel  woes  to  paint, 
Beneath  whose  weight  our  captured  freemen  faint  ! 

Where  am  I  ?     Heavens  !   what  mean  these  dolorous  ci 

And  what  these  horrid  scenes  that  round  me  i 

Heard  \  e  the  groans,  those  messengers  of  pain  ': 

Heard  \e  the  clanking  of  the  captive's  chain  • 

Heard  ye  your  freeborn  sons  their  late  deplm-i  , 

Pale  in  their  chains  and  laboring  at  the  oar  ? 

Saw  ye  the  dungeon,  in  whose  blackest  cell, 

That  house  of  woe,  \  our  friends,  \  our  children,  dwell  ?  — 

Or  -aw  \e  those  who  dread  the  torturing  hour, 

Crushed  hv   the  rigors  of  a  ly rant's  possri  .- 

V;/o  ye  the  shrinking  yiun,  th>  uplifted  in.--h, 

The  froir /tin  ^  li/i/r/itr,  n/iil  tlir  rnlili  tiiiiir  »«•;//.' 

Saw  ye  the  fresh  blood  ichere  it.  lull/ling  broke 

From  purple  scars,  bcncatli  the  <^i  iinlin^  stn>I,t  .' 

*iiir  //i   tin   mi!, nl  liinlis  writhed  to  unit  fro, 

In   irilii  <  iiiilnrlnniS  of  COHVIllsillf.'  " 

1'elt  ye  the  blood,  with  pangs  alternate  rolled, 

Thrill  through  your  \cins  and  five/e  with  deathlike  cold, 

Or  fire,  as  down  the  tear  of  pits  stole, 

Your  manly  breasts,  and  harrow  up  the  soul  '• 


43 

fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  Tripolitans.  Other  deeds  of  hardihood 
ensued.  A  romantic  expedition  under  General  Eaton,  from  Al- 
exandria, in  Egypt,  across  the  desert  of  Libya,  captured  Derne. 
Tripoli  was  attacked  three  several  times,  and,  at  last,  on  the  3d  of 
June,  1805,  entered  into  a  treaty,  by  which  it  was  stipulated  that  the 
United  States  should  pay  sixty  thousand  dollars  for  the  freedom  of 
two  hundred  Americans  detained  as  captives  ;  and  that,  in  the  event 
of  future  war  between  the  two  countries,  the  prisoners  captured  by 
either  party  should  not  be  made  slaves,  but  should  be  exchanged, 
rank  for  rank  ;  and  if  there  should  be  any  deficiency  on  either  side, 
that  it  should  be  made  up  by  the  payment  of  five  hundred  Spanish 
dollars  for  each  captain,  three  hundred  dollars  for  each  mate  and 
supercargo,  and  one  hundred  dollars  for  each  seaman.*  Thus  did 
our  country,  after  successes  not  without  what  is  called  the  glory  of 
arms,  again  purchase  by  money  the  emancipation  of  her  white  citi- 
zens. 

The  power  of  Tripoli  was,  however,  inconsiderable.  That  of 
Algiers  was  more  formidable.  It  is  not  a  little  curious,  that  the 
largest  ship  of  this  slave-trading  state  was  the  Crescent,  of  thirty-four 
guns,  built  in  New  Hampshire  ;  f  though  it  is  hardly  to  the  credit  of 
our  sister  State  that  the  Jllgerine  power  should  have  derived  such  im- 
portant support  from  her.  The  lawlessness  of  the  corsair  again 
broke  forth  in  1812,  by  the  seizure  of  the  brig  Edwin  of  Salem, 
which  was  carried  into  Algiers  and  her  crew  reduced  to  slavery. 
All  the  energies  of  our  country  were  then  enlisted  in  the  war  with 
Great  Britain  ;  but  even  amidst  the  anxieties  of  this  gigantic  contest 
the  voice  of  these  captives  was  heard,  awakening  a  corresponding 
sentiment  in  the  country,  until  the  government  was  prompted  to  seek 
their  release  by  an  unofficial  offer  of  three  thousand  dollars  a  head.J 
The  answer  of  the  Dey,  repeated  on  several  occasions,  was,  that 
"  not  for  two  millions  of  dollars  would  he  sell  his  American  slaves."  § 
The  timely  treaty  of  Ghent,  in  1815,  establishing  peace  with  Great 
Britain,  left  us  at  liberty  to  deal  with  this  enslaver  of  our  country- 
men. A  naval  force  was  promptly  despatched  to  the  Mediterranean, 

*  United  States  Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  VIII.  p.  214  ;  Lyman's  Diplomacy,  Vol.  II. 
p.  388. 

t  History  of  the  War  between  the  United  States  and  Tripoli,  p.  88. 

t  Noah's  Travels,  p.  69.  It  was  through  Mr.  Noah,  who  had  been  appointed 
consul  at  Tunis,  that  this  offer  was  made. 

§  Noah's  Travels,  p.  144  ;  National  Intelligencer  of  March  7,  1815. 


44 

under  Commodore  Bainbridge  and  Commodore  Decattir.  The  ra- 
pidity of  their  movements  and  their  striking  success  had  the  desired 
effect,  in  June,  1815,  a  treaty  was  extorted  from  the  Dey  of  Al- 
giers, by  which,  after  abandoning  all  claim  to  tribute  in  any  form,  he 
delivered  his  American  captives,  ten  in  number,  without  any  ransom  ; 
and  stipulated,  that  hereafter  no  Americans  should  be  made  slaves  or 
forced  to  hard  labor,  and,  still  further,  that  "  any  Christians  what- 
ever, captives  in  Algiers,"  who  should  make  their  escape  and  take 
refuge  on  board  any  of  our  ships  of  war,  should  not  be  required  back 
again.* 

It  is  related  of  Decatur,  that  he  walked  his  deck  with  impatient 
earnestness,  awaiting  the  promised  signature  of  the  treaty.  "  Is  the 
treaty  signed  ?  "  he  cried  to  the  captain  of  the  port  and  the  Swedish 
consul,  as  they  reached  the  Guerriere  with  a  white  flag  of  truce. 
"  It  is,"  replied  the  Swede  ;  and  the  treaty  was  placed  in  Deca- 
tur's  hands.  "Are  the  prisoners  in  the  boat?'  "They  are." 
"  Every  one  of  them  ? '  "  Every  one,  Sir."  The  captive  Amer- 
icans now  came  forward  to  greet  and  bless  their  deliverer.!  It  was, 
undoubtedly,  one  of  the  sweetest  moments  in  the  life  of  this  hardy 
son  of  the  sea,  when  he  procured  freedom  for  these  countrymen,  and 
contributed  so  powerfully  to  overthrow  the  system  of  slavery  under 
\\hich  they  had  groaned.  But  should  I  not  say,  even  here,  that 
there  is  now  a  citizen  of  Massachusetts,  who,  without  army  or  navy, 
by  a  simple  act  of  self-renunciation,  has  given  freedom  to  a  larger 
number  of  Christian  American  slaves  than  was  done  by  the  sword 
of  Decatur  ?  J 

Thus,  not  by  money,  but  by  arms,  was  emancipation  this  time 
secured  for  American  captives.  The  country  was  grateful  for 
the  result  ;  though  the  poor  freedmen,  engulfed  in  the  unknown 
wastes  of  ocean,  on  their  glad  passage  home,  were  never  able  to 

I  Hited  States  Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  VIII.  p.  224  ;  Lyman's  Diplomacy,  Vok  II. 

P.  :;7ii. 

t   Mackenzie's  Life  of  Deratur,  p.  268. 

il"ii.  Juhri  Gorham  Palfrey,  Secretary  of  the  Commonwealth  of  Massachusetts, 
r.  •  i  i  vi-rl  twentv-two  slaves  by  inheritance,  on  the  death  of  his  father,  in  Octohcr,  1  -  I!!. 
They  were  on  a  plantation  in  Louisiana.  lie  lost  no  time  in  taking  the  necessary  steps 
for  their  iiiaiiiimis.-ioii.  His  petition  to  the  le^i.-laiiire  of  Louisiana,  for  permission  to 
set  them  free  within  the  State,  \\  as  laid  on  the  tahlc  by  a  unanimous  vote.  Against 
manv  impediments,  and  at  considerable  cost,  he  persevered  in  his  determination,  and, 
by  a  personal  visit  to  the  State,  speeded  the  act.  I'.inhteeii  fellow-men,  who  had  been 
slaves,  have  been  established  by  his  beneficence  in  Massachusetts  and  New  York. 
Four  other*  have  In  en  allowed  to  remain,  a-  lr>  <  men,  in  Louisiana. 


45 

mingle  joys  with  their  fellow-citizens.*  Nordic!  the  country  feel  the 
melancholy  mockery  of  the  conduct  of  the  government,  which,  having 
weakly  declared  that  it  "  was  not  in  any  sense  founded  on  the  Chris- 
tian religion,"!  now  expressly  confined  the  protecting  power  of 
its  flag  to  fugitive  "  Christians,  captives  in  Algiers,"  |  leaving  slaves 
of  another  faith  to  be  snatched  as  between  the  horns  of  the  altar, 
and  returned  to  the  continued  horrors  of  their  lot. 

The  success  of  the  American  arms  was  speedily  followed  by  a 
more  signal  triumph  of  Great  Britain,  acting  generously  in  behalf  of 
all  the  Christian  powers.  Her  expedition  was  debated,  perhaps 
prompted,  in  the  Congress  of  Vienna,  where  were  assembled,  after 
the  overthrow  of  Napoleon,  the  brilliant  representatives  of  the  differ- 
ent states  of  Europe,  in  the  presence  of  the  monarchs  of  Austria, 
Prussia,  and  Russia,  to  consider  the  evils  proper  to  be  remedied  by 
joint  action,  and  to  adjust  the  disordered  balance  of  empire.  And 
here,  among  other  high  matters  of  discussion,  was  entertained  the 
project  of  a  crusade  against  the  Barbary  States,  in  order  to  accom- 
plish the  complete  abolition  of  Christian  slavery  there  practised.  It 
was  proposed  to  form  "  a  holy  league  "  for  this  purpose.  This  was 
earnestly  enforced  by  a  memoir  from  Sir  Sidney  Smith,  —  the  Brit- 
ish officer  who  foiled  Napoleon  at  Acre, --who  was  president  of 
an  association  called  the  "  Knights  Liberators  of  the  IVIiite  Slaves 
in  Africa,"  -  in  our  day  it  might  be  called  an  Abolition  Society,  - 
thus  adding  to  the  doubtful  laurels  of  war  the  true  glory  of  striving 
for  the  freedom  of  his  fellow-men.  § 

This  project  awakened  a  generous  echo  in  the  public  mind.  Va- 
rious advocates  appeared  in  its  behalf;  and  it  was  especially  urged 
upon  Great  Britain,  by  the  agents  of  Spain  and  Portugal,  who  in- 
sisted, that,  because  this  nation  had  abolished  the  negro  slave-trade, 
it  was  her  duty  to  put  an  end  to  the  slavery  of  the  whiles.  || 

They  were  lost  in  the  Epervier,  which  went  down  at  sea,  no  trace  of  her  ever 
appearing. 

t  Ante,  p.  41. 

\  Ante,  p.  44. 

§  Memoire  sur  la  Necessite  et  les  Moyens  de  faire  cesser  les  Pirateries  des  Etats 
Barbaresques.  Requ,  considere,  et  adopte  a  Paris  en  Septembre,  a  Turin  le  14  Oc- 
tobre,  1814,  a  Vienne  durant  le  Congres.  Par  M.  Sidney  Smith.  See  Quarterly  Re- 
view, Vol.  XV.  p.  140,  where  this  is  noticed.  Schoell,  Histoire  des  Traitts  de  Paix, 
Tome  XI.  p.  402. 

||  Edinburgh  Review,  Vol.  XXVI.  p.  451 ;  Osier's  Life  of  Exmouth,  p.  302  ;  Mac- 
kenzie's Life  of  Decatur,  p.  263. 


46 

A  disgraceful  impediment  seemed  to  interfere  with  it.  There  was 
a  common  belief  that  the  obstructions  to  the  navigation  of  the  Med- 
iterranean, created  by  the  Barbary  States,  were  advantageous  to 
British  commerce,  by  thwarting  and  strangling  that  of  other  coun- 
tries ;  and  that  therefore  Great  Britain,  ever  anxious  for  commer- 
cial supremacy,  would  not  seek  their  overthrow,  but  would  rather 
encourage  them, --the  love  of  trade  prevailing  over  the  love  of 
man.*  This  suggestion  of  a  sordid  selfishness,  which  was  willing  to 
coin  money  out  of  the  lives  and  liberties  of  fellow-Christians,  wras 
soon  answered. 

Lord  Kxmouth,  who  had  already  acquired  distinction  in  the  Brit- 
ish navy  as  Sir  Edward  Pellew,  was  despatched  with  a  squadron  to 
Algiers  at  the  beginning  of  the  year  1816.  By  his  general  orders 
to  his  fleet,  bearing  date,  Boyne,  Port  Mahon,  March  21,  1816,  he 
announced  the  object  of  his  expedition  as  follows  :  — 

"  He  has  been  instructed  and  directed  by  his  Royal  Highness,  the 
Prince  Regent,  to  proceed  with  the  fleet  to  Algiers,  and  there  make 
certain  arrangements  for  diminishing,  at  least,  the  piratical  excur- 
sions of  the  Barbary  States,  by  uliich  thousands  of  our  fellow-crea- 
tures, innocently  following  their  commercial  pursuits,  have  been 
dragged  into  the  most  icretched  and  revolting  state  of  slavery. 

"  The  commander-in-chief  is  confident  that  this  outrageous  sys- 
tem of  piracy  and  slavery  rouses  in  common  the  same  spirit  of  in- 
dignation which  he  himself  feels  ;  and  should  the  government  of 
Algiers  refuse  the  reasonable  demands  he  bears  from  the  Prince  Re- 
gent, he  doubts  not  but  the  flag  will  be  honorably  and  zealously 
supported  by  every  officer  and  man  under  his  command,  in  his  en- 
deavours to  procure  the  acceptation  of  them  by  force  ;  and  if  force 
must  be  resorted  to,  we  have  the  consolation  of  knowing  that  we  fight 
in  the  sacred  cause  of  humanity,  and  cannot  fail  of  success."! 

The  moderate  object  of  his  mission  was  readily  obtained.  Ar- 
rangements for  diminishing  the  piratical  excursions  of  the  Barbary 
States  "  were  established.  Certain  Ionian  slaves,  claimed  as  Brit- 
ish subjects,  were  released,  and  peace  was  secured  for  Naples  and 
Sardinia,--  ihc  former  paying  a  ransom  of  five  hundred  dollars,  the 

•     Ullarterlv    Review,     Yn!.    XV.     |,.    11.",;     Hdilllilirjlll     UevieW,     Vol.    XXVI.    p.  449, 

where  there  is  a  review  <>f  a  pnUi.  ••ii'mn  mtiilnl  "A  Letter  to  a  Member  of  Parlia- 
ment, nn  the  Slavery  nf  tlie   ( 'liri>ilaii-i  at  Algiers.     I'.y  Waller  Croker,  Esq.,  of  the 
|{,,\al  Navy.     I.nn<lmi,  I -hi."     Schoell,  'I'rnitL*  <!••  Paix,  Tom.  XI.  p.  402. 
)  Osier's  I. ile  of  i:\in.-mli,  \>.  '.'.'7. 


47 

latter  of  three  hundred  dollars,  a  head,  for  their  subjects  liberated 
from  bondage.      This  was  at  Algiers.     Lord   Exmouth  next  pro- 
ceeded to  Tunis  and  Tripoli,  where,  acting  beyond  his  instructions, 
he   obtained  from  both  of  these  governments  a   promise   to  abolish 
Christian  slavery  within  their  dominions.      In  one  of  his  letters  on 
this  event,  he  says,  that,  in  pressing  these  governments,  he  u  acted 
solely  on  his  own  responsibility  and  without  orders  ;  the  causes  and 
reasoning  on  which,  upon  general  principles,  may  be  defensible  ;  but, 
as  applying  to  our  own  country,  may  not  be  borne  out,  the  old  mercan- 
tile interest  being  against  it."*     Thus  did  commerce,  the  daughter 
of  freedom,  fall  under  the  foul  suspicion  of  disloyalty  to  her  parent  ! 
Lord  Exmouth  did  not  do  justice  to  the  moral  sense  of  his  coun- 
try.     His   conduct  was  sustained   and   applauded,  not  only  in  the 
House  of  Commons,  but  by  the  public  at  large.     He  was  soon  di- 
rected to  return  to  Algiers,  -  -  which  had  failed  to  make  any  general 
renunciation  of  the  custom  of  enslaving  Christians,  —  to  extort  by 
force  such  a  stipulation.      This  expedition  is  regarded  by  British  his- 
torians with  peculiar   pride.      There   is  none   in  the  annals  of  their 
navy,  in  which  the  barbarism  of  war  seems  so  much  "  to  smooth  its 
wrinkled  front."     With   a  fleet  complete  at  all  points,  the  admiral 
set  sail,  the  25th  of  July,  1816,  on  what  was  deemed  a  holy  war. 
On  the  27th  of  August,  he  anchored  before  the  formidable  fortifica- 
tions of  Algiers,  with  five  line-of-battle  ships,  five  heavy  frigates,  four 
bomb-vessels,  and  five  gun-brigs,  besides  a  Dutch  fleet  of  five  frig- 
ates and  a  corvette,  under  Admiral  Van  de  Capellan,  who,  on  learning 
the  object  of  the  expedition,  solicited  and  obtained  leave  to  coop- 
erate.     It  would  not  be  agreeable  or  instructive  to  dwell  on  the  scene 
of  desolation  and  blood  which  ensued.      The  fleet  before  night  fired 
nearly  one    hundred  and  eighteen  tons  of   powder,  and  fifty  thou- 
sand shot,  weighing  more  than  five  hundred  tons,  besides  shells  and 
rockets.     The   citadel  and  massive  batteries  of  Algiers  were  shat- 
tered  and   crumbled    to  ruins.      The   store-houses,  ships,  and   gun- 
boats  were   in  flames,   while   the   blazing   lightnings   of  battle   were 
answered  by  those  of  heaven  in  a  storm  of  signal  fury.      The  power 
of  the  Great  Slave-dealer  was  humbled. 

*  Osier's  Life  of  Exmouth,  p.  303.  It  is  not  a  little  singular,  that  Admiral  Blake, 
in  the  time  of  Cromwell,  had  similar  anxieties  on  account  of  his  attack  upon  Tu- 
nis. In  his  despatch  to  Secretary  Thurloe,  he  says,  —  "  And  now,  seeing  it  hath 
pleased  God  soe  signally  to  justify  us  herein,  I  hope  his  highnes  will  not  be  offended 
at  it,  nor  any  who  regard  duly  the  honor  of  our  nation,  although  I  expect  to  have  the 
clamors  of  interested  men."  Thurloe's  State  Papers,  Vol.  II.  p.  390. 


48 

The  terms  of  submission  were  announced  by  the  admiral  to  his 
fleet  in  an  order,  dated,  Queen  Charlotte,  Algiers  Bay,  August  30th, 
1S1G,  which  may  be  read  with  a  truer  pleasure,  perhaps,  than  any 
in  military  or  naval  history. 

"  The  commander-in-chief,"  he  said,  "  is  happy  to  inform  the  fleet 
of  the  final  termination  of  their  strenuous  exertions,  by  the  signature  of 
peace,  confirmed  under  a  salute  of  twenty-one  guns,  on  the  following 
conditions,  dictated  by  his  Royal  Highness,  the  Prince  Regent  of 
England. 

"  First.    THE  ABOLITION  OF  CHRISTIAN  SLAVERY  FOR  EVER. 

"  Second.  The  delivery  to  my  flag  of  all  slaves  in  tbe  dominions 
of  the  Dey,  to  whatever  nation  they  may  belong,  at  noon  to-morrow. 

"  Third.  To  deliver  also  to  my  flag  all  money  received  by  him 
for  the  redemption  of  slaves  since  the  commencement  of  this  year, 
at  noon  also  to-morrow." 

On  the  next  day,  twelve  hundred  slaves  were  embarked,  making, 
with  those  liberated  in  his  earlier  expedition,  more  than  three  thou- 
sand, whom,  by  address  or  force,  Lord  Exmouth  had  delivered  from 
slavery. ' 

Thus  ended  White  Slavery  in  the  Barbary  States.  It  had  al- 
ready died  out  in  Morocco.  It  had  been  quietly  renounced  by  Trip- 
oli and  Tunis.  Its  last  retreat  was  Algiers,  whence  it  was  driven 
amidst  the  thunder  of  the  British  cannon. 

Signal  honors  now  awaited  the  Admiral.  He  was  elevated  to  a 
new  rank  in  the  peerage,  and  on  his  coat-of-arms  was  emblazoned  a 
figure  never  before  known  in  heraldry,  —  a  Christian  slave  holding 
aloft  Hie  cross  and  dropping  his  broken  fetters.-]  From  the  officers 
of  the  squadron  he  received  a  costly  service  of  plate,  with  an  in- 
scription, in  testimony  of  "the  memorable  victory  gained  at  Algiers, 
where  the  great  cause  of  Christian  freedom  was  bravely  fought  and 
nobly  acconii>lis]ied.'n  |  But  higher  far  than  honor  were  the  rich 
personal  satisfactions  which  he  derived  from  contemplating  the  nature 
of  the  cause  in  which  he  had  been  enlisted.  In  his  despatch  to  the 
government,  describing  the  battle,  and  \\ritten  at  the  time,  he  says, 
'.it  words  which  may  be  felt  by  others  engaged,  like  him,  in  efforts 
for  the  overthrow  of  slavery  :--"  In  all  the  vicissitudes  ol  a  long 


n.-l.-r's  l.\l'<-  of  r.xinoutli,  p.  334;    Kritish  Annual   Ur-istrr  (IHlij,  Vol.  I. VIII. 
,,,,.  97-106;  sii:il«-i-->  SUtrhrs,  j.p.  279-2M. 

•  i-l«  r'>  Life  of  K.Miiotilli,  |i.  '.'.in. 
II. i<!.,  ].. 


49 

life  of  public  service,  no  circumstance  has  ever  produced  on  my 
mind  such  impressions  of  gratitude  as  the  event  of  yesterday.  To 
have  been  one  of  the  humble  instruments  in  the  hands  of  Divine  Prov- 
idence for  bringing  to  reason  a  ferocious  government,  and  destroying 
for  ever  the  insufferable  and  horrid  system  oj  Christian  slavery,  can 
never  cease  to  be  a  source  of  delight  and  heartfelt  comfort  to  every 
individual  happy  enough  to  be  employed  in  if."  * 

The  reverses  of  Algiers  did  not  end  here.  Christian  slavery  was 
abolished  ;  but,  in  1830,  the  insolence  of  this  barbarian  government 
aroused  the  vengeance  of  France  to  take  military  possession  of  the 
whole  country.  Algiers  capitulated,  and  the  Dey  abdicated  ;  and 
this  considerable  state  has  now  become  a  French  colony. 

Thus  I  have  endeavoured  to  present  what  I  could  glean  in  various 
fields  on  the  history  of  Christian  Slavery  in  the  Barbary  States.  I 
have  often  employed  the  words  of  others,  as  they  seemed  best  cal- 
culated to  convey  the  exact  idea  of  the  scene,  incident,  or  sentiment 
which  I  wished  to  preserve.  In  doing  so,  I  have  occupied  much 
time  ;  but  I  may  find  my  apology  in  the  words  of  an  English  chron- 
icler, f  "  Algier,"  he  says,  "  were  altogether  unworthy  so  long  a 
discourse,  were  not  the  univorthinesse  worthy  our  consideration.  I 
meane  the  cruell  abuse  of  the  Christian  name,  which  let  us  for  in- 
citing our  zeale  and  exciting  our  charitie  and  thankfulness  more 
deeply  weigh,  to  releeve  those  in  miseries,  as  we  may,  with  our 
paynes,  prayers,  purses,  and  all  the  best  meditations." 

III.  It  is  by  a  natural  transition  that  I  am  now  conducted  to  the 
inquiry  into  the  true  character  of  the  evil  whose  history  has  been 
traced.  And  here  I  shall  be  brief. 

The  slavery  of  Christians  by  the  Barbary  States  is  regarded  as 
an  unquestioned  outrage  upon  humanity  and  justice.  Our  liveliest 
sympathies  attend  these  white  brethren, -- torn  from  their  homes, 
the  ties  of  family  and  friendship  rudely  severed,  parent  separated 
from  child  and  husband  from  wife,  exposed  at  public  sale  like  cattle, 
and,  like  cattle,  dependent  upon  the  uncertain  will  of  an  arbitrary 
taskmaster.  We  read  of  a  "gentleman"  who  was  compelled  to  be 

*  Osier's  Life  of  Exmouth,  p.  432  ;  Shaler's  Sketches  of  Algiers,  p.  282. 
t  Purchas's  Pilgrims,  Vol.  II.  p.  1565. 

7 


50 

the  valet  of  the  barbarian  emperor  of  Morocco  ;*  and  Calderon,  who 
has  sometimes  been  called  the  Shakspeare  of  the  Spanish  stage,  has 
depicted,  in  one  of  his  most  remarkable  plays,  the  miserable  fate  of 
a  Portuguese  prince,  condemned  by  infidel  Moors  to  carry  water  in 
a  garden,  f  But  the  lowly  in  condition  had  their  unrecorded  sor- 
rows also,  whose  sum  total  must  swell  to  a  fearful  amount.  Who 
can  tell  how  many  hearts  have  been  wrung  by  the  pangs  of  separa- 
tion, how  many  crushed  by  the  comfortless  despair  of  interminable 
bondage  ?  "  Speaking  as  a  Christian,"  says  the  good  Catholic  father 
who  has  chronicled  much  of  this  misery,  "if  on  the  earth  there  can 
be  any  condition  which,  in  its  character  and  evils,  may  represent  in 
any  manner  the  dolorous  Passion  of  the  Son  of  God  (which  exceeded 
all  evils  and  torments,  because  by  it  the  Lord  suffered  every  kind  of 
evil  and  affliction),  it  is,  beyond  question  and  doubt,  none  other  than 
slavery  and  captivity  in  Algiers  and  Barbary,  whose  infinite  evils, 
terrible  torments,  miseries  without  number,  afflictions  without  mitiga- 
tion, it  is  impossible  to  comprehend  in  a  brief  span  of  time."  ^ 

And  here  again  we  may  refer  to  Cervantes,  whose  pen  was  dipped 
in  his  own  dark  experience.  In  his  Life  in  Algiers,  §  he  has  dis- 
played the  horrors  of  the  white  slave-market.  The  public  crier  ex- 
poses for  sale  a  father  and  mother  and  their  two  children.  They 
are  to  be  sold  separately,  or,  according  to  the  language  of  our  day, 
"  in  lots  to  suit  purchasers."  The  father  is  resigned,  confiding  in 
God  ;  the  mother  sobs  ;  while  the  children,  ignorant  of  the  inhu- 


*  Braithwaitc's  Revolutions  of  Morocco,  p.  233  ;  Noah's  Travels,  p. 

t  El  Principe  Constante. 

t  Hacdo,  Historia,  pp.  139,  140.  When  we  consider  the  author's  character  as  a 
father  of  the  Catholic  Chinch,  it  will  be  felt  that  language  can  no  further  go.  His 
History  of  Algiers,  which  was  published  in  Kil'J,  contains  two  copious  Dialogues; 
llir  first  on  Captivity  (tie  la  Cu  i>tiin!/i<!  \.  ami  the  M  ruml  on  the  Martyrs  of  Algiers 
(de  la.-:  Miii-tyres  de  Argel).  Besides  embodying  authentic  sketches  of  the  sufferings  in 
Algiers,  thes  form  a  mine  of  da»ical  and  patristic  learning  on  the  origin  and  char- 
r  of  slavery,  and  also  of  arguments  ai:ain~!  it,  which  could  not  fail  to  be  ex- 
plored with  pp'tit  hy  those  who  are  interested  in  this  subject  in  our  day.  In  view  of 
this  irigantic  e\  il,  the  good  father  says,  —  "  Where  is  charity  ?  Where  is  the  love  of 
<iod  .-  When-  i-  /eal  flu-  his  glory  ?  Where  is  desire  for  bis  service  ?  Whore  is  hu- 
man pity  and  the  compassion  of  man  for  man  :  Certainly,  to  redeem  a  captive,  to 
lilnTate  him  from  wn-iched  >!averv,  is  the  highest  work  of  charity  of  all  that  can  be 
done  in  this  wnr  M  ."  —  pp.  140,  141  .  11.  -iilcs  the  illustrations  of  the  •  hardships  of  White 
Slavery  which  ha\  e  alread\  heen  introduced,  I  refer  briefly  to  the  following  :  —  Edin- 
hurL'h  IJeview,  Ynl.  XXVI.  pp.  4.VJ-4">4  ;  C'roker's  Letter,  pp.  11  -V.\;  Quarterly 
K.  view,  Vol.  XV.  p.  1  !.">;  Baton's  Life,  p.  Kill;  .Noah's  Travels,  p. 

§   Trato  di  .!• 


51 

inanity  of  men,  show  an  instinctive  trust  in  the  constant  and  wakeful 
protection  of  their  parents,  —  now,  alas  !  impotent  to  shield  them 
from  dire  calamity.  A  merchant,  inclining  to  purchase  one  of  the 
"  little  ones,"  causes  him  to  open  his  mouth,  in  order  to  see  whether 
he  is  in  good  condition.  The  child,  still  ignorant  of  the  destiny  which 
awaits  him,  imagines  that  the  purchaser  is  about  to  extract  a  tooth, 
and,  assuring  him  that  it  does  not  ache,  begs  him  not  to  pull  it  out. 
The  merchant,  who  is  in  other  respects  a  very  worthy  man,  pays 
one  hundred  and  thirty  dollars  for  the  youngest  child,  and  the  sale  is 
completed.  Thus  a  human  being --one  of  those  children  of  whom 
it  has  been  said,  "  Of  such  is  the  kingdom  of  heaven  ';  -is  profane- 
ly treated  as  an  article  of  merchandise,  and  torn  from  a  mother's 
arms  and  a  father's  support.  The  hardening  influence  of  custom  has 
steeled  the  merchant  into  insensibility  to  this  violation  of  humanity 
and  justice,  this  laceration  of  sacred  ties,  this  degradation  of  the  im- 
age of  God.  The  unconscious  heartlessness  of  the  slave-dealer, 
and  the  anguish  of  his  victims,  are  depicted  in  the  dialogue  which  en- 
sues after  the  sale.* 

"  MERCHANT.  Come  hither,  child,  't  is  time  to  go  to  rest. 
JUAN.  Signor,  I  ivill  not  leave  my  mother  here, 

To  go  with  any  one. 
MOTHER.       Alas  !  my  child,  thou  art  no  longer  mine, 

But  his  who  bought  thee. 
JTJAN.  What  !  then,  have  you,  mother, 

Forsaken  me  1 

MOTHER.        0  Heavens  !  how  cruel  are  ye  I 
MERCHANT.   Come,  hasten,  lay. 
JUAN.  Will  you  go  with  me,  brother? 

FRANCISCO.  I  cannot,  Juan,  't  is  not  in  my  power;  - 

May  Heaven  protect  you,  Juan  ! 
MOTHER.        O  my  child, 

My  joy  and  my  delight,  God  won't  forget  thee  ! 
JUAN.  O  father  !  mother  !  whither  will  they  bear  me 

Away  from  you  ? 

*  This  translation  is  borrowed  from  Sismondi's  View  of  the  Literature  of  the  South 
of  Europe,  by  Roscoe,  Vol.  III.  p.  381.  There  is  a  letter  of  "  John  Dunton,  Mari- 
ner," in  1637,  addressed  to  the  English  Admiralty,  which  might  furnish  the  foundation 
of  a  similar  scene.  "  For  my  only  son,"  he  says,  "is  now  a  slave  in  Algier,  and  but 
ten  years  of  age,  and  like  to  be  lost  for  ever,  without  God's  great  mercy  and  the 
king's  clemency,  which,  I  hope,  may  be  in  some  manner  obtained."  —  Osborne's 
Voyages,  Vol.  II.  p.  492. 


52 

MOTHER.       Permit  me,  worthy  Signer, 

To  speak  a  moment  in  my  infant's  ear. 

Grant  me  this  small  contentment ;  very  soon 

I  shall  know  naught  but  grief. 
MERCHANT.  What  you  would  say, 

Say  now  ;  to-night  is  the  last  time. 
MOTHER.       To-night 

Is  the  first  time  my  heart  e'er  felt  such  grief. 
JUAN.  Pray  keep  me  with  you,  mother,  for  I  know  not 

Whither  he  'd  carry  me. 
MOTHER.        Alas,  poor  child  ! 

Fortune  forsook  thee  even  at  thy  birth. 

The  heavens  are  overcast,  the  elements 

Are  turbid,  and  the  very  sea  and  winds 

Are  all  combined  against  me.      Thou,  my  child, 

Knoiv'st  not  the  dark  misfortunes  into  which 

Thou  art  so  early  plunged,  but  happily 

Lackest  the,  power  to  comprehend  thy  fate. 

What  I  would  crave  of  thee,  my  life,  since  I 

Must  never  more  be  blessed  with  seeing  thee, 

Is  that  thou  never,  never  wilt  forget 

To  say,  as  thou  wert  wont,  thy  Are  Mary ; 

For  that  bright  queen  of  goodness,  grace,  and  virtue 

Can  loosen  all  thy  bonds  and  give  thee  freedom. 
AYDAR.          Behold  the  wicked  Christian,  how  she  counsels 

Her  innocent  child  !     You  wish,  then,  that  your  child 

Should,  like  yourself,  continue  still  in  error. 
JUAN.  O  mother,  mother,  may  I  not  remain  ? 

And  must  these  Moors,  then,  carry  me  away  ? 
MOTHER.        With  thee,  my  child,  they  rob  me  of  my  treasures. 
JUAN.  O,  I  am  much  afraid  ! 

MOTHER.        'T  is  I,  my  child, 

AYho  ought  to  fear  at  seeing  thee  depart. 

Thou  wilt  forget  thy  God,  me,  and  thyself. 

What  else  can  I  expect  from  thee,  abandoned 

At  such  a  tender  age,  amongst  a  people 

Full  of  deceit  and  all  iniquity  • 
CRIER.  Silence,  you  villanous  woman  !  if  you  would  not 

Have  your  head  pay  for  what  your  tongue  has  done." 

From  this  scene  we  gladly  avert  our  countenance,  while,  from  the 
bottom  of  our  hearts,  we  send  our  sympathies  to  the  poor  sufferers. 
We  fain  would  avert  their  fate  ;  we  fain  would  destroy  the  system  of 


53 

slavery,  which  has  made  them  wretched  and  their  masters  cruel. 
And  yet  we  would  not  judge  with  harshness  an  Algerine  slave- 
owner. He  has  been  reared  in  a  religion  of  slavery, --he  has 
learned  to  regard  Christians,  "  guilty  of  a  skin  not  colored  as  his 
own,"  as  lawful  prey,  —  and  has  found  sanctions  for  his  conduct  in 
the  injunctions  of  the  Koran,  in  the  custom  of  his  country,  and  in 
the  instinctive  dictates  of  an  imagined  self-interest.  It  is,  then,  the 
"peculiar  institution"  which  we  are  aroused  to  execrate,  rather 
than  the  Algerine  slave-masters,  who  glory  in  its  influence,  and, 

"  so  perfect  is  their  misery, 
Not  once  perceive  their  foul  disfigurement, 
But  boast  themselves  more  comely  than  before." 

But  there  is  reason  to  believe  that  the  sufferings  of  the  white 
slaves  were  not  often  greater  than  is  the  natural  incident  of  slavery. 
There  is  an  important  authority  which  presents  this  point  in  an  inter- 
esting light.  It  is  that  of  General  Eaton,  who  was  for  some  time 
consul  of  the  United  States  at  Tunis,  and  whose  name  is  not  with- 
out interest  from  the  bold  expedition  against  Derne.  In  a  letter  to 
his  wife,  dated  at  Tunis,  April  6th,  1799,  and  written  amidst  oppor- 
tunities of  observation  such  as  few  have  enjoyed,  he  briefly  describes 
the  condition  of  this  unhappy  class,  illustrating  it  by  a  comparison  less 
flattering  to  our  country  than  to  Barbary.  "  Many  of  the  Christian 
slaves,"  he  says,  "  have  died  of  grief,  and  the  others  linger  out  a 
life  less  tolerable  than  death.  Alas  !  remorse  seizes  my  whole  soul, 
when  I  reflect  that  this  is,  indeed,  a  copy  of  the  very  barbarity  which 
my  eyes  have  seen  in  my  own  native  country.  And  yet  we  boast  of 
liberty  and  national  justice.  How  frequently  have  I  seen  in  the 
Southern  States  of  our  own  country  weeping  mothers  leading  guilt- 
less infants  to  the  sales  with  as  deep  anguish  as  if  they  led  them  to 
the  slaughter,  and  yet  felt  my  bosom  tranquil  in  the  view  of  these 
aggressions  upon  defenceless  humanity  !  But  when  I  see  the  same 
enormities  practised  upon  beings  whose  complexion  and  blood  claim 
kindred  with  my  own,  I  curse  the  perpetrators  and  weep  over  the 
wretched  victims  of  their  rapacity.  Indeed,  trutli  and  justice  de- 
mand from  me  the  confession,  that  the  Christian  slaves  amvng  the 
barbarians  of  Jlfrica  are  treated  with  more  humanity  than  the  African 
slaves  among  the  professing  Christians  of  civilized  Jlmerica  ;  and  yet 
here  sensibility  bleeds  at  every  pore  for  the  wretches  whom  fate  has 
doomed  to  slavery." 

*  Eaton's  Life,  p.  145.    The  same  judgment  was  passed  by  John  Wesley  as  early  as 


54 

Such  testimony  would  seem  to  furnish  a  standard  or  measure  of 
comparison  by  which  to  determine  the  character  of  White  Slavery 
in  the  Barbary  States.  But  there  are  other  considerations  and  au- 
thorities. One  of  these  is  the  influence  of  the  religion  of  these  bar- 
barians. Travellers  remark  the  generally  kind  treatment  bestowed 
by  Mahometans  upon  slaves.*  The  lash  rarely,  if  ever,  lacerates 
the  back  of  the  female  ;  the  knife  or  branding-iron  is  not  employed 
upon  any  human  being  to  mark  him  as  the  property  of  his  fellow-man. 
Nor  is  the  slave  doomed,  as  in  other  countries,  where  the  Christian 
religion  is  professed,  to  unconditional  and  perpetual  service,  without 
prospect  of  redemption.  Hope,  the  last  friend  of  misfortune,  may 
brighten  his  captivity.  He  is  not  walled  up  by  inhuman  institutions 
so  as  to  be  inaccessible  to  freedom.  "And  unto  such  of  your 
slaves,"  says  the  Koran,  in  words  worthy  of  adoption  in  the  legisla- 
tion of  Christian  countries,  "  as  desire  a  written  instrument,  allowing 
them  to  redeem  themselves  on  paying  a  certain  sum,  write  one,  if  ye 
know  good  in  them,  and  give  them  of  the  riches  of  God,  which  he 
hath  given  you."  f  Thus  from  the  Koran,  which  ordains  slavery, 
come  lessons  of  benignity  to  the  slave  ;  and  one  of  the  most  touch- 
ing stories  in  Mahometanism  is  of  the  generosity  of  All,  the  com- 
panion of  the  Prophet,  who,  after  fasting  for  three  days,  gave  his 
whole  provision  to  a  captive  not  more  famished  than  himself.^ 

Such  precepts  and  examples  doubtless  had  their  influence  in  Al- 
giers. It  is  evident,  from  the  history  of  the  country,  that  the 
prejudice  of  race  did  not  so  far  prevail  as  to  impress  upon  the  slaves 

177'J.  Addressing  those  engaged  in  the  negro  slave-trade,  he  said,  —  "  You  have  car- 
ried the  survivors  into  the  vilest  slavery,  never  to  end  but  with  lite,  —  such  slavery  as 
t.f  nut  found  uiiiniiir  the  Turks  at  Algiers,  no,  nor  among  the  heathens  in  America."  — 
Thoughts  on  Slavery  (1772),  p.  24. 

1  Wilson's  Travels,  p.  !C5;    Edinburgh  Review.  Vol.  XXXVIII.  p.  403;  Noah's 

Travels,    p.  :>,(|-J;    (Inarterly    Ke\  lew,  Vol.  X  V.  p.  l(i-  ;    Shaler's  SU.-trbes  of  Algiers, 

p.  77.  It  \\ns  a  remark  of  Will.erforce,  that  the  slave-trade  had  been  able  to  reverse 
the  ordinary  effects  of  Christianity  and  Mahometanism,  and  to  cause  the  latter  to  be 
the  instructor  and  enlightener  of  mankind,  while  the  former  left  them  under  the  undis- 
turbed or  rather  increased  influence  of  all  their  nati\  e  superstitions.  —  Edinburgh  Re- 
view,  V<.1.  V.  p.  2iy 

t  Sale's  Koran,  Chap.  24,  Vol.11.  p.l'.'I.  The  right  of  redemption  was  iv.-ognizcd 
l.\  the  <;.  otoo  Laws.  -  Ilalhed's  Code,  cap.  s,  §§  1,  2.  It  seems  also  to  have  be- 
longed to  the  condition  of  slavery  by  the  laws  of  most  countries  in  which  that  condi- 
tion has  prevailed.  It  was  unknnuu  in  the  British  West  Indies  while  slavery  still 
existed  there.  — Step!,,  us  on  West  India  Slavery,  Vol.  II.  pp.  37«?  -:;-!.  It  is  also 
unknou  u  in  the  Slave  States  of  our  country. 
Sale's  Koran,  Vol.  II.  p.  474,  note. 


55 

and  their  descendants  any  indelible  mark  of  exclusion  from  power 
and  influence.  It  often  happened  that  they  arrived  at  eminent  posts 
in  the  state.  The  seat  of  the  Deys  has  more  than  once  been 
filled  by  humble  Christian  captives,  who  have  tugged  for  years  at  the 
oar.* 

Nor  do  we  feel,  from  the  narratives  of  captives  and  of  travellers, 
that  the  condition  of  the  Christian  slave  was  rigorous  beyond  the  or- 
dinary lot  of  slavery.  "The  Captive's  Story"  in  Don  Quixote 
does  not  impress  the  reader  with  any  peculiar  horror  of"  the  condi- 
tion from  which  he  had  escaped.  It  is  often  said  that  the  sufferings 
of  Cervantes  were  among  the  most  severe  which  even  Algiers  could 
inflict. f  But  they  did  not  repress  the  gayety  of  his  temper  ;  and 
we  learn  that  in  the  building  where  he  was  confined  there  was  a 
chapel  or  oratory,  in  which  mass  was  celebrated,  the  sacrament  ad- 
ministered, and  sermons  regularly  preached  by  captive  priests.^ 

At  a  later  day  we  are  furnished  with  a  still  more  authentic  pic- 
ture. Captain  Braithwaite,  who  accompanied  the  British  minister  1o 
Morocco  in  1727,  in  order  to  procure  the  liberation  of  the  British 
captives,  after  describing  their  comfortable  condition,  adds: --"I 
am  sure  we  saw  several  captives  who  lived  much  better  in  Barbary 
than  ever  they  did  in  their  own  country.  Whatever  money  in 
charity  was  sent  them  by  their  friends  in  Europe  was  their  own, 
unless  they  defrauded  one  another,  which  has  happened  much  of- 
tener  than  by  the  Moors.  Several  of  them  are  rich,  and  many  have 
carried  considerable  sums  out  of  the  country,  to  the  truth  of  which 
we  are  all  witnesses.  Several  captives  keep  their  mules,  and  some 
their  servants  ;  and  yet  this  is  called  insupportable  slavery  among 
Turks  and  Moors.  But  we  found  this,  as  well  as  many  other  things 
in  this  country,  strangely  misrepresented. "§ 

These    statements  —  which,   in  the   minds  of   those  who  do  not 


*  Haedo,  Historla  de  Argel,  p.  122:  Quarterly  Review,  Vol.  XV.  pp.  169,  172  ; 
Shaler's  Sketches  of  Algiers,  p.  77  ;  Short  Account  of  Algiers,  pp.  22,  25.  It  seems 
to  have  been  intimated,  that,  according  to  the  Koran,  the  condition  of  slavery  ceased 
when  the  party  became  a  Mussulman.  —  Penny  Cyclopaedia,  Art.  Slavery;  Noah's 
Travels,  p.  302;  Shaler's  Sketches,  p.  69.  It  is  doubtless  true,  that,  in  point  of  fact, 
freedom  generally  followed  conversion ;  but  I  do  not  find  any  injunction  on  the  sub- 
ject in  the  Koran. 

t  De  los  peores  que  en  Jirge.1  auia.  Haedo,  Historia  de  rfrgel,  p.  185  ;  Navarrete, 
Vida  de  Cervantes,  p.  361. 

t  Roscoe's  Life  of  Cervantes,  p.  303. 

§  Braithwaite's  Revolutions  in  Morocco,  p.  353. 


56 

place  freedom  above  all  price,  may  seem,  at  first  view,  to  take 
the  sting  even  from  slavery  —  are  not  without  support  from  other 
sources.  Colonel  Keatinge,  who  visited  Morocco  in  1785,  as  a 
member  of  a  diplomatic  mission  from  England,  says  of  this  evil  there, 
that  "  it  is  very  slightly  inflicted,  and  as  to  any  labor  undergone,  it 
does  not  deserve  the  name  "  ;  *  while  Mr.  Lempriere,  who  was  in 
the  same  country  not  long  afterwards,  adds,  -  -  "  To  the  disgrace  of 
Europe,  the  Moors  treat  their  slaves  with  humanity."!  In  Tripoli, 
we  are  told,  by  a  person  who  was  for  ten  years  a  resident,  that  the 
same  gentleness  prevailed.  "  It  is  a  great  alleviation  to  our  feel- 
ings," says  the  writer,  speaking  of  the  slaves,  "  to  see  them  easy 
and  well-dressed,  and,  so  far  from  wearing  chains,  as  captives  do  in 
most  other  places,  they  are  perfectly  at  liberty. "j  We  have  al- 
ready seen  the  testimony  of  General  Eaton  with  regard  to  slavery 
in  Tunis  ;  while  Mr.  Noah,  one  of  his  successors  in  the  consulate 
of  the  United  States  at  that  place,  has  said,  —  "In  Tunis,  from 
my  observation,  the  slaves  are  not  severely  treated  ;  they  are  very 
useful,  and  many  of  them  have  made  money."  §  And  Mr.  Shaler 
has  said,  -  -  "  In  short,  there  were  slaves  who  left  Algiers  with 
regret. "|| 

A  French  writer  of  more  recent  date  asserts,  with  some  ve- 
hemence, and  with  the  authority  of  an  eyewitness,  that  the  Christian 
slaves  at  Algiers  were  not  exposed  to  the  miseries  which  they  repre- 
sented. I  do  not  know  that  he  vindicates  their  slavery,  but,  like 
Captain  Braithwaite,  he  evidently  regards  many  of  them  as  better 
off  than  they  would  be  at  home.  According  to  him,  they  were 
well  clad  and  well  fed,  much  belter  than  the  free  Christians  who  were 
there.  The  youngest  and  most  comely  were  taken  as  pages  by  the 
Dey.  Others  were  employed  in  the  barracks  ;  others  in  the  gal- 
leys ;  but  even  here  there  was  a  chapel,  as  in  the  time  of  Cervantes, 
for  the  free  exercise  of  the  Christian  religion.  Those  who  happen- 
ed to  be  artisans,  as  carpenters,  locksmiths,  and  calkers,  were  let 
to  the  owners  of  vessels.  Others  were  employed  on  the  public 
works  ;  while  others  still  were  allowed  the  privilege  of  keeping  a 


*  Ke;uini"-">  Ti-.ivrU,   p.  -J.IO ;  Quarterly  K<  \  lew,  Vol.  XV.  p.  14G.    See  also  Che- 
nier's  Present  Si;itr  ,,('  Morocco,  Vol.  I.  p.  I:1.';   II.  p.  :i(i:i. 

t  Li-mp.i.  re'a  'I'm,,-,  p.  -.Mil.     See  a!.-<,  pp.  li,  1-17,  I!M),  :J7:>. 
t  Narrative  of  T<  n  \  .  ars'  K.-idonce  at  Tripoli,  p.  "Jll. 

•  N.. ;.h's  Tnurls,  p.  :«K 
||   Shaler's  Sketches,  p.  77. 


57 

shop,  in  which  their  profits  were  sometimes  so  large  as  to  enable 
them  at  the  end  of  a  year  to  purchase  their  ransom.  But  these 
were  often  known  to  become  indifferent  to  freedom,  and  to  prefer 
Algiers  to  their  own  country.  The  slaves  of  private  persons  were 
sometimes  employed  in  the  family  of  their  master,  where  their  treat- 
ment necessarily  depended  much  upon  his  character.  If  he  were 
gentle  and  humane,  their  lot  was  fortunate  ;  they  were  regarded  as 
children  of  the  house.  If  he  were  harsh  and  selfish,  then  the  iron 
of  slavery  did,  indeed,  enter  their  souls.  Many  were  bought  to  be 
sold  again  for  profit  into  distant  parts  of  the  country,  where  they 
were  doomed  to  exhausting  labor,  in  which  event  their  condition  is 
represented  as  grievous.  But  special  care  was  bestowed  upon 
those  who  became  ill,  which  was  done,  it  is  said,  not  so  much  from 
humanity,  as  through  fear  of  losing  them.* 

But,  whatever  deductions  we  may  make  from  the  current  stories 
of  White  Slavery  in  the  Barbary  States,  —  admitting  that  it  was 
mitigated  by  the  genial  influence  of  Mahometanism,  —  that  the  cap- 
tives were  well  clad  and  well  fed,  much  better  than  the  free  Chris- 
tians who  were  there,  —  that  they  were  allowed  opportunities  of 
Christian  worship,  —  that  they  were  often  treated  with  lenity  and 
affectionate  care,  —  that  they  were  sometimes  advanced  to  posts  of 
responsibility  and  honor, --and  that  they  were  known,  in  their  con- 
tentment or  stolidity,  to  become  indifferent  to  freedom,  —  still  the 
institution  or  custom  is  hardly  less  hateful  in  our  eyes.  "  Disguise 
thyself  as  thou  wilt,  still,  Slavery  !  thou  art  a  bitter  draught !  and 
though  thousands  in  all  ages  have  been  made  to  drink  of  thee,  thou 
art  no  less  bitter  on  that  account."  f  Algerine  Slavery  was  a  viola- 
tion of  the  law  of  nature  and  of  God.  It  was  a  usurpation  of  rights 

not  granted  to  man. 

"  O  execrable  son,  so  to  aspire 
Above  his  brethren,  to  himself  assuming 
Authority  usurped,  from  God  not  given  ! 
He  gave  us  only  over  beast,  fish,  fowl, 
Dominion  absolute  ;  that  right  we  hold 
By  his  donation  ;  but  man  over  men 
He  made  not  lord,  such  title  to  himself 
Reserving,  human  left  from  human  free.'  t 

*  Histoire  d'Mger  :  Description  de  ce  Royaume,  etc.,  de  ses  Forces  de  Terre  et  de 
Mer,  Masurs  et  Costumes  des  Habitans,  des  Mores,  des  Arabes,  des  Juifs,  des  Chrtt.i- 
ens,  de  ses  Lois,  etc.  (Paris,  1830),  Chap.  27. 

t  Sterne. 

t  Paradise  Lost,  Book  XII.  64-71. 

8 


58 

Such  a  relation,  in  defiance  of  God,  could  not  fail  to  accumulate 
disastrous  consequences  upon  all  in  any  way  parties  to  it ;  for  injus- 
tice and  wrong  are  fatal  alike  to  the  doer  and  the  sufferer.  It  is  no- 
torious that  —  in  Algiers  —  it  exerted  a  most  pernicious  influence  on 
master  and  slave.  The  slave  was  crushed  and  degraded  by  it,  his 
intelligence  abased,  even  his  love  of  freedom  extinguished.  The 
master,  accustomed  from  childhood  to  its  revolting  inequalities  of 
condition,  was  exalted  into  a  mood  of  unconscious  arrogance  and 
self-confidence,  inconsistent  with  the  virtues  of  a  pure  and  upright 
character.  Unlimited  power  is  apt  to  stretch  towards  license  ;  and 
the  wives  and  daughters  of  Christian  slaves  were  often  pressed  to  be 
the  concubines  of  their  Algerine  masters.* 

It  is  well,  then,  that  it  has  passed  away  !  The  Barbary  States 
seem  less  barbarous,  when  we  no  longer  discern  this  cruel  oppres- 
sion ! 

But  the  story  of  slavery  there  is  not  yet  all  told.  While  the  Bar- 
bary States  had  received  white  slaves  by  sea,  stolen  by  their  corsairs, 
they  also,  from  time  immemorial,  had  imported  black  slaves  from 
the  south.  Over  the  vast  sea  of  sand,  "  illimitable  and  without 
bound,"  in  which  is  absorbed  their  southern  border,  —  traversed  by 
camels,  those  "  ships  of  the  desert," —  were  brought  these  unfortu- 
nate beings,  as  merchandise,  with  gold-dust  and  ivory,  doomed  often 
to  insufferable  torments,  while  cruel  thirst  parched  the  lips,  and  tears 
vainly  moistened  the  eyes.  They  also  were  ravished  from  their 
homes,  and,  like  their  white  brethren  from  the  north,  compelled  to 
taste  of  slavery.  In  numbers  they  have  far  surpassed  their  Chris- 
tian peers.  But  for  long  years  no  pen  or  voice  pleaded  their  cause ; 
nor  did  the  Christian  nations  -  -  professing  a  religion  which  sends  the 
precious  sympathies  of  neighbourhood  to  the  farthest  pole  of  suf- 
fering, and  teaches  universal  humanity,  without  respect  of  persons  — 
ever  interfere  in  any  way  in  their  behalf.  The  navy  of  Great  Brit- 
ain, by  the  throats  of  their  artillery,  argued  the  freedom  of  all  their 
fellow- Christians,  without  distinction  of  nation  ;  but  they  did  not 

*  Noali's  Travels,  pp.  248,  2">3 ;  Quarterly  Review,  Vol.  XV.  p.  163.  Among 
the  concubines  of  a  prince  of  Morocco  were  two  slaves  of  the  age  of  fifteen,  one 
of  English,  and  tli;  ,,ilM.r  ulTn  nch  extraction. —  Lempriere's  Tour,  p.  147.  There 
i<  an  account  of  the  fate  of  "  one  Mrs.  Shaw,  an  Irishwoman,"  in  words  hardly 
polite  enough  to  be  quoted.  Sin-  \\.is  swept  into  the  harem  of  Mulry  Ishmael,  who 
"  forced  her  to  turn  Moor  "  ;  "  but  soon  after,  having  taken  a  dislike  to  her,  he  gave 
her  to  a  soldier."  -Braithwaite's  .Morocco,  p.  191. 


59 

heed  the  slavery  of  others,  —  Mahometans  or  idolaters,  children  of 
the  same  Father  in  heaven.  Lord  Exmouth  did  but  half  his  work. 
In  confining  the  stipulation  to  the  abolition  of  Christian  slavery  only, 
he  made  a  discrimination,  which,  whether  founded  on  religion  or 
color,  was  selfish  and  unchristian.  Here,  again,  we  notice  the  same 
inconsistency  which  darkened  the  conduct  of  Charles  the  Fifth. 
Forgetful  of  the  brotherhood  of  the  race,  Christian  powers  have 
regarded  the  slavery  of  blacks  as  just  and  proper,  while  the  slav- 
ery of  whites  has  been  branded  as  unjust  and  sinful. 

As  the  British  fleet  sailed  proudly  from  the  harbour  of  Algiers, 
bearing  its  emancipated  white  slaves,  and  the  express  stipulation, 
that  Christian  slavery  was  abolished  for  ever,  it  left  in  bondage  be- 
hind large  numbers  of  blacks,  distributed  throughout  all  the  Barbary 
States.  Neglected  thus  by  exclusive  Christendom,  it  is  pleasant  to 
know  that  their  lot  is  not  always  unhappy.  In  Morocco  there  are 
negroes  who  are  still  detained  as  slaves  ;  but  the  prejudice  of  color 
seems  not  to  prevail  there.  They  have  been  called  "  the  grand 
cavaliers  of  this  part  of  Barbary."  *  They  often  become  the  chief 
magistrates  and  rulers  of  cities. f  They  have  constituted  the  body- 
guard of  several  of  the  emperors,  and  have,  on  one  occasion  at  least, 
exercised  the  prerogative  of  the  Pratorian  cohorts,  in  dethroning 
their  master. I  So  that,  if  negro  slavery  still  exists  in  this  state,  it 
has  little  of  that  degradation  which  is  connected  with  it  elsewhere. 
Into  Algiers  France  is  supposed  to  have  already  carried  the  benign 
principle  of  law  -  -  earlier  recognized  by  her  than  by  the  English 
courts  §  -  -  which  secures  freedom  to  all  beneath  its  influence. 
And  now,  within  the  present  year,  the  glad  tidings  have  been  re- 
ceived, that  the  Bey  of  Tunis,  "  for  the  glory  of  God,  and  to  dis- 

*  Braithwaite's  Morocco,  p.  350.     See  also  Quarterly  Review,  Vol.  XV.  p.  168. 

t  Braithwaite,  p.  222. 

t  Ibid.,  p.  381. 

§  Somersett's  case,  recognizing  this  principle,  was  decided  in  1772.  M.  Schoell 
snys  that  "  this  fine  maxim  has  always  obtained"  in  France.  —  Hisloire  Mregee  des 
Traitds  de  Paiz,  Tom.  XI.  p.  178.  By  the  royal  ordinance  of  1318,  it  was  declared, 
that  "  all  men  are  born  free  (francs)  by  nature ;  and  that  the  kingdom  of  the  French 
(Francs)  should  be  so  in  reality  as  in  name."  See  the  Oration  of  Brissot  de  War- 
ville,  delivered  in  Paris,  February  19th,  1778,  on  the  necessity  of  establishing  at 
Paris  a  society  to  cooperate  with  those  of  America  and  London  towards  the  aboli- 
tion of  the  trade  and  slavery  of  negroes.  It  is  doubtful,  however,  whether  this  "  fine 
maxim  "  was  recognized  in  France  so  completely  as  M.  Schoell  asserts.  See  Ency- 
clopedie'(de  Diderot  et  D'Alembert),  Art.  Esclavagc. 


GO 

tinguish  man  from  the  brute  creation,"  has  decreed  the  total  abolition 
of  human  slavery  throughout  his  dominions.* 

Let    us   turn,  then,   with   hope   and   confidence  to   the    Barbary 
States  !     The  virtues  and  charities  do  not  come  single.      There  is 
among   them    a    common    bond,    stronger    than    that  of  science    or 
knowledge.      Let  one  find  admission,  and  a  troop  will  follow.     Nor 
is  it  unreasonable  to  anticipate  other  improvements  in  states  which 
have  renounced  a  long-cherished  system  of  White    Slavery,  while 
they  have  done  much  to  abolish  or  mitigate  the  slavery  of  others  not 
white,   and   to   overcome  the   inhuman    prejudice   of  color.       The 
Christian  nations  of  Europe  first  declared,  and  practically  enforced, 
within  their   own   European  dominions,  the  vital  truth  of  freedom, 
that   man   cannot  hold  property  in   his   brother-man.      Algiers  and 
Tunis,  like  Saul  of  Tarsus,  have  been  turned  fronrthe  path  of  per- 
secution, and  now  receive  the  same  faith.      Algiers  and   Tunis  now 
help  to  plead  the  cause  of  freedom.      Such  a  cause  is  in  sacred  fel- 
lowship with  all  those  principles  which  promote  the  progress  of  man. 
And  who  can  tell  that  this  despised   portion  of  the  globe  is  not  des- 
tined to  yet  another  restoration  ?     It  was  here   in   Northern  Africa 
that  civilization   was  first  nursed,  that  commerce  early  spread  her 
white   wrings,  that   Christianity   was  taught  by  the    honeyed  lips  of 
Augustine.     All   these  are  again  returning  to  their  ancient  home. 
Civilization,  commerce,  and  Christianity  once   more   shed  their  be- 
nignant influences  upon  the  land  to  which  they  have  long  been  stran- 
gers.     A   new  health  and  vigor  now   animate  its  exertions.     Like 
its  own  giant  Antaeus, — whose  tomb  is  placed   by  tradition  among 
the  hill-sides  of  Algiers,  —  it  has  often  been  felled  to  the  earth,  but 
it  now  rises  with  renewed  strength,  to  gain  yet  higher  victories. 

*  It  is  not  known  that  it  has  been  abolished  yet  in  Tripoli.